"I tell folks this is my 401K," said Wilson with a broad smile as he stands behind the counter of his business.
Opening Sept. 1 at 803 Davis Blvd., Wilson's Rock Bottom Discount offers a variety of merchandise. The shelves hold everything from car batteries to cookware to CD players, from tools to toys to even trailer hitches.
Wilson said as he approached retirement from Lewis Furniture, he knew he wanted a new challenge. He became aware of a similar discount store that was doing well and decided to give it a try.
The merchandise filling the shelves is brought in by trucks from out-of-state suppliers. All of it is new, Wilson said, along with some items accepted as returns from the original store.
"Sometimes they just didn't want to restock the items, sometimes the boxes are messed up - that is how we get it at such a discount. But much of what we sell is brand new and never out of the box," Wilson said.
And he passes those discounts on to his customers. Wilson said his prices typically are 50 percent below what would be found in a major retail store.
To make his point, Wilson pointed to a box filled to the brim with cosmetics. Some of the items would sell for as much as $5 and he was offering them at $1 each. Across the aisle was a box with welder, selling at half the chain store's cost, according to Wilson.
The store has been welcomed by Sikeston and area residents. "I had one guy who said he saw how small the building was and didn't think this would be much but when he walked in and saw how well it was stocked and lots of variety he said he was surprised, pleasantly surprised," said Wilson.
He said he has enjoyed visits from many of his former customers who have dropped by and he is getting to know lots of new faces as well. "I'm having a good time," he added. "Now I'm getting to do it all - owner, clerk and handyman."
Well almost all. Assisting Wilson at the store and co-owner of Rock Bottom Discount is his wife, Mildred.
Wilson's Rock Bottom Discount is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.