A new discount store in Williamsburg is aiming to meet customer demands with ever-changing inventory while connecting with neighbors.
Metro 99¢ Plus, located at 555 Metropolitan Avenue, opened at the end of April and has already made adjustments to sidewalk, store, and window displays to align with community needs. This includes accounting for the local demographic when replacing children’s toys with party decor and practical summer items.
“We are not a traditional 99-cent store … We’re trying to allocate for demand,” owner Tanweer Ahmed explained. “If people ask for certain things, we try to take note.”
More popular items include seasonal offerings like beach towels and solar lights.
While opening a business in a new neighborhood during a pandemic has been difficult, Ahmed is bolstered by the support of his uncle, who has been running a nearby deli for three years and originally suggested the idea of the store. With the guidance to get started, Ahmed was able to open the store within two and a half weeks of securing the lease and remains in constant contact with suppliers to update inventory.
“I’m looking to connect with new folks and gain more exposure to my business,” Ahmed admitted. “Because we’re in the middle of the block, people may not notice us.”
That being said, Ahmed is optimistic about their location across from Crest Hardware given its longstanding popularity within North Brooklyn.
Moving forward, Ahmed’s goals are twofold: Continuously updating the storefront display to highlight seasonal offerings and also connecting more with local community and mutual aid groups.
“I would like to support organizations that assist the community … In the near future, I would like to open other types of stores to support the people,” Ahmed said.