NORTH ADAMS -- The former Walmart building has sold to closeout retailer Ocean State Job Lot, who announced Wednesday it would soon open a store in the Curran Highway space.
The company, which operates 109 locations in New England and New York, expects to open in October and create 30 to 40 jobs. They'll also sublet a portion of the 93,000-square-foot building to retail farm and ranch store brand Tractor Supply Inc., and seek a third tenant.
Ocean State's head of marketing, David Sarlitto, praised the deal in an interview with the Transcript on Wednesday.
"Everybody wins," he said. "You guys get a couple new tenants and we get a new branch. Taxes come in, sales come in, and more importantly, jobs enter the area and folks have access to better prices on goods."
The price attached to the purchase and sale agreement between Ocean State and Wal-Mart has not yet been disclosed.
Sarlitto described the store's offerings as "highly revolving" in an interview Wednesday, including grocery items, home goods, cosmetics, tools, kayaks, pellet stoves and more.
He said the chain, based in Kingston, R.I., has had its eye on the building since learning that Wal-Mart was relocating its store to a 152,000-square-foot supercenter it built nearby this year. That store opened May 8.
Ocean State's business model revolves around "cutting deals" with manufacturers, food producers and others in order to drive down the price of commodities.
To cut prices, some items are bought in bulk, sometimes without packaging, while others with negligible defects are purchased at fractions of cost, and the company "never builds a building, always retrofits older ones."
Customers will find that Ocean State can often undercut Walmart, Sarlitto said, but the two businesses coexist well in many other communities.
"There isn't a location of ours that isn't within a fairly close drive to a Walmart store," he said. " ... Some things you'll find on the shelves are the same, a lot differ."
He added, "We've actually found many people make a list and go to both stores with it."
Entry-level positions, managers and assistant managers will be sought when hiring begins Sarlitto said. He said he wasn't aware of the pay rates.
Mayor Richard Alcombright, in an interview Wednesday, spoke positively of the development.
He said the store represented "a couple nice new opportunities" for area residents to shop and was glad to see new jobs are to be had.
"It's very encouraging to hear," he said.
What would happen to the massive, vacant building was a top concern for Alcombright and others, but executives of Wal-Mart throughout assured the city that it had an aggressive re-marketing team.
Ocean State also plans to donate a tractor-trailer load of food to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to coincide with the store's opening. This is being organized through the company's charitable foundation.
To reach Phil Demers, email