Mark Butler, founder and CEO of Ollie’s Bargain Outlets, died unexpectedly on Sunday.
The company announced Butler’s death in a statement released Monday. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet operates a very popular store at the Cressona Mall shopping center.
In addition to co-founding the Ollie’s chain of discount stores, Butler also owned the Harrisburg Senators baseball team.
Ollies Founder and CEO Mark Butler Dies, 61
Ollie’s found a retail niche that works. Its stores are extremely profitable. And when other stores seem to be closing, Ollie’s is adding more stores. It’s now publicly traded on NASDAQ (trading as OLLI)
The eye test shows that Ollie’s is probably one of the busiest non-grocery stores in Schuylkill County.
The company isn’t folding, of course. Ollie’s already named an interim CEO and President.
Ollie’s is based in Cumberland County, PA. The company expresses shock and sadness at the passing of its founder.
“Mark was an exceptional entrepreneur, merchant, leader, philanthropist, friend and family man,” Ollie’s board member Richard Zannino says on behalf of the entire board of directors.
“From ringing the first sale in the first Ollie’s store in Mechanicsburg, PA in 1982, to leading the Company’s highly profitable growth to 345 stores in 25 states, Mark built a successful and enduring retail concept, assembled an incredible team, created thousands of jobs and delivered millions of bargains to our customers, while delivering exceptional shareholder value along the way.”
Butler only purchased the Senators back in 2015. He was also Chair of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Customers at Ollie’s were often asked to donate to this charity at checkout.
Senators President Kevin Kulp says, “We are just numb. This is a tragic loss for our community. Mark was such an important part of the culture of our organization. We were extremely fortunate to have had him guiding us.