The Ashland Beacon
The familiar location of the Ashland Outlet has now become the place to be for those who have always dreamed of digging for buried treasure. Eighty bins full of exciting discoveries await shoppers twice a day every Friday and Saturday at the new location of the Treasure Hunt.
Manager Randy Hollingsworth said that more than 600 shoppers showed up on the very first Friday that the store was open. During both opening times on Friday, the lines were stretched all the way around the sidewalk down what used to be the front of the old Foodland building.
The Treasure Hunt, still owned by Ashland resident Diamond Lewis, opens with new merchandise every Friday morning at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Then they close and restock just to open again at 6 p.m. During this time all items are $5 each, plus tax. After closing, the staff fill the bins back up again. The store reopens on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. They then close the store, restock again, and open back up at 2 p.m. All items on Saturdays are also $5, plus tax.
The buried treasure that the shoppers are looking for on Fridays and Saturdays won’t be found in a wooden chest, but in the shape of a cowbell. There are four cowbells buried in the bins during each of the four openings. The cowbells have the Treasure Hunt logo on them and a big-ticket item like a 50-inch television set, $50 cash, or an Xbox written on them that can be purchased for a mere $5.30 after tax is added.
The Treasure Hunt is also running another promotion during its first couple of weeks in business. For every $20 that a person spends, they receive a ticket for a drawing that will be held on March 14. The tickets give the shoppers an opportunity to win items such as Instant Pots and other cookware.
Shoppers grab a big blue bag when they enter the door. As they are digging through the bins, items that they want go into the bag. The sign at the front of the store offers shoppers the chance to “hunt until it hurts.”
There are rules to the hunt. Nothing is to be opened at the bins. There is a checking table where people can make sure that the merchandise that they are buying does work. This table is the only place in the store that boxes and bags are allowed to be opened. Once opened, if the item is something that the shopper does not want after all, they are asked to tape it back up.
After the initial treasure hunts on Friday and Saturday, the prices drop over the remaining days of the week. On Sunday, everything is $3. This then drops to $2 on Mondays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, all items are only $1 each.
On Thursdays, or what Hollingsworth referred to as “Quarter Day,” all remaining items will be sold for 25 cents or a shopper can fill a big blue bag for $5. On the very first Thursday that the store was open, they were completely sold out of every single item by 1 p.m. and had to close. They then went ahead and started stocking up the bins with the “higher end stuff” for the Friday morning treasure hunters.