The Hattiesburg American


Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap Give Back to the Community

Submitted Press Release
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap helped three local organizations bring in the New Year on Friday with charitable donations to their causes.

“It is always good to be able to give back to the community and to help support organizations that make our community a great place to live,” said Randy Burge, President of Treasure Hunt Retail Operations.

Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap made a $10,000 donation to the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, a $5,000 donation to the Southern Pines Animal Shelter and a $5,000 donation to Christian Services, all of which serve southeast Mississippi.

The Domestic Abuse Family Shelter consists of two shelters, one in Laurel and one in Hattiesburg. The center as well as a slate of several other programs serves victims of domestic violence, their children and the abusers in an 11 county area in southeast Mississippi.

The Southern Pines Animal Shelter, located in Hattiesburg, also serves 11 Mississippi counties. The shelter, which opened originally in 1954, is an open admission shelter that accepts all domestic animals. An average of 10,000 dogs and cats are admitted to the shelter each year. In addition to helping families adopt or find a lost animal companion, the shelter also provides low cost spay/neuter procedures for area pets.

The mission of Christian Services, Inc. is “to break chains, bring hope, and change lives through the practical demonstration of God’s love.” The organization accomplishes this mission each year through ‘Bargains and Blessings,’ a low cost furniture, clothing and appliance store, an area soup kitchen which provides 500-600 hot meals five days a week, emergency response assistance, distribution of donated food and supplies as well as several other ministries dedicated to meeting the needs of people in the community as well as outside of the immediate area.

“We at Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap say thank you to The Domestic Abuse Family Shelter, Southern Pines Animal Shelter and Christian Services for their continued service to our community and we are pleased to make these donations to help them carry out their missions,” said Burge.

This donation follows the recent Christmas day toy giveaway conducted by Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap as well as the Hattiesburg Police Department and the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office. The three agencies paired together to deliver over 5,000 toys to Hattiesburg area apartment complexes on Christmas morning.

From left, Bill Prout of Christian Services, Randy Burge President of Treasure Hunt Retail Operations and Ross Roberts President of Dirt Cheap Retail Operations.

The Hattiesburg American


Common Thread? Bargain price tags at Treasure Hunt, Dirt Cheap

By La Tonya Frelix
American Staff Writer
Thursday June 24, 2010

The one thing that remains a constant at Treasure Hunt and Dirt Cheap stores is the search for bargains. Rosemarie Flynt of Laurel can attest to that.

“You never know what you’re going to find,” she said while shopping at the Cloverleaf Mall store.

“The prices are great. If you go into a regular store, you know what they have, but here, there’s always something that we may not have access to in small towns like this.”

Once change that patrons may have noticed is the removal of the Hudson’s name from Treasure Hunt stores.

Chief Executive Officer Rob Roberts acknowledged a change of ownership but would not comment otherwise, citing it as a “private matter.”

He said the name removal is an attempt for properties to become a better corporate brand and not to be tied to a particular surname or brand.

H.C. Hudson

The first Hudson’s opened in Palmer’s Crossing more than 60 years ago when fire destroyed H.C. Hudson’s general store. Hudson asked the insurance adjuster what would happen to the smoke-damaged groceries and the adjuster sold them back to Hudson.

The next day, H.C. Hudson held a half-price “fire sale.” Since then, the company has purchased salvage merchandise from the insurance companies to resell in its stores.

Hudson’s is now the leading purchaser of insurance salvage merchandise in the U.S. with 900,000 square feet of distribution space in the Hattiesburg area, Roberts said in an earlier interview.

The Hattiesburg-based corporation now has seven Treasure Hunt and 47 Dirt Cheap stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The company has about 1,200 employees.

Treasure Hunt specializes in providing customers with merchandise from retail insurance salvage claims, marked out of stock inventory, closeouts and distressed inventories.

Dirt Cheap stores specialize in the disposition of customer return inventories.

A Dirt Cheap Building store recently opened in the Cloverleaf Center. Roberts said a 1-million square-foot distribution center opened in Blue Mountain to service store growth in North Mississippi and Alabama.

Roberts said the Blue Mountain center “eventually allows the company to reach Tennessee and Kentucky.”

More Changes

Treasure Hunt stores have scaled back operation hours and are now open 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday -Saturday and closed Sundays.

“We changed the hours primarily for staff safety, but we also looked at customer shopping patterns and we were doing very little business,” Roberts said. “We’ve been doing that for years at the Dirt Cheap stores.”

Crystal Lee Hudson-Eckrich, a great-granddaughter of H.C. Hudson, said she hopes exterior and interior upgrades will improve the Treasure Hunt shopping experience.

A commercial and residential interior designer, Hudson-Eckrich recently completed her first project – a complete renovation of the company’s corporate office at U.S. 49 North.

Her next project – hopefully – will be the Hattiesburg Treasure Hunt location in Cloverleaf Mall.

Improvements will include changes to the company’s signage, an interior facelift for better shopping areas and dressing rooms.

Roberts said customers may see these upgrades by the fall with Dirt Cheap locations to follow.

“For years, we’ve been down and dirty and on the fly, and this is our effort to be organized and shopper friendly,” Roberts said. “When our customers walk into our store, we want them to have a very good idea of what’s new and what the background on some of the deals we have.”

While looking through men’s clothing on Thursday, Pam and Rena Smith of Monticello said they have already noticed a difference.

“It’s been years since we shopped here,” Rena Smith said.

“A friend called us a couple of days ago and told us about this shipment.”

While shuffling through a rack of shirts, Pam Smith said she will venture back to the store sooner.

“It’s a lot nicer and everything is in order.”