By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — A longtime retail landmark has been sold.
Dollar Bill’s Discount World at 133 Rockingham Road has been sold and will become a Cabinet Warehouse.
Real estate records show the property sold for $1.45 million.
The Route 28 business was known for its 28,000 square feet of popular holiday auctions, discounted toys, housewares and its leader, “Dollar Bill” Burke.
Burke, with his animated auctioneer persona and strong ties to the community, announced he would leave the retail end of his business. He officially closed the store last August, but planned to continue with his profitable wholesale venture.
The New York native, came to Derry in 1981, opening a business and immersing himself in the community. He became the face behind “Dollar Bill” with a perky auctioneer attitude, a popular “infomercial” style local television program and strong commitment to the town.
Burke is widely known for his television appearances, sporting a hat decorated with dollar bills, whipping off descriptions of the items he sells.
He also is known in the community as a strong supporter of children, and programs that enhance education and numerous nonprofit groups in the area.
Burke operated a local retail store for about three decades on “the hill” on Rockingham Road in several different locations.
The store offered everything under the sun for customers looking for a bargain.
But the recent economic downturn struck hard. When Burke put his property up for sale, he said the store had floundered.
“I’ve seen the economic changes,” he said, “and, in the past three or four years, it’s gotten worse and worse.”
Burke was named the Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2004. Discount World took Business of the Year honors in 2000.
He will keep his “Dollar Bill” name.
“The store has been good to us,” Burke said. “Dollar Bill’s has also been very good to the people that work there. We’re like a family.”