By Tim Leeds
A new store is opening downtown, where nothing costs more than a dollar.
Just a Dollar will be open Monday at 427 First St. in the Creative Leisure building.
The store carries a variety of items, including assorted food products, household and cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, pet supplies, toys, greeting cards and tools, and all will be $1 or two for $1. There will also be merchandise from local vendors, such as Coke, Pepsi, Digiorno's and Reesers.
Even items pre-priced at 1.49. , $1.99 or more will cost only $1 in the new store.
"There's a tremendous need in the community for a dollar store," said owner-operator Ileta Gerber. "Talking to other mothers I've heard of a need for children's hair items, ribbons, and so on."
Gerber and her husband, Grant, have been working on opening the store for a year or more, setting up a business plan, doing market research, contacting local vendors and ordering merchandise. They said since putting a sign up on the door saying they will be open soon, they have already had several people inquire if they are open yet or when they will be.
Gerber plans to have a grand opening celebration with drawings, coffee, juice and cookies three or four weeks after they open.
The Gerbers thanked everyone who has helped them get the store started, especially Bear Paw Development Corporation North Montana, the Havre chapter of the SCORE program, and their friends and family who have come up and helped them stock and do manual labor getting the store ready.
Gerber said it's taken a lot of work, especially since this isn't a franchise but has been built locally, from the ground up.
He said they also plan to have a suggestion box in the front of the store and questions or comments are welcome.
"If they don't see what they want, we will try to get it," he said.
He said part of the reason his wife wanted to start the business is their own love of dollar stores.
"Whenever we go down to Great Falls or Billings, we spend a lot of time in the dollar stores there," he said.