Savvy shoppers know that the deals available at store-closing and liquidation sales are generally terrible, but that didn’t stop everyone else from raiding Sears Canada stores over the weekend, strewing boxes and merchandise across the floors. Shoppers described the scene as “apocalyptic,” which sounds about right.
Sears Canada filed for bankruptcy last month, planning to sell itself or sort out a financing deal to stay in business. That didn’t work out, and liquidation sales at the department store chain’s remaining 74 stores began last week.
Outside liquidators, which include the familiar names Hilco Global, Gordon Brothers, Tiger Capital Group, and Great American Group, came in to run the sales, which proceeded in the traditional fashion.
All merchandise was marked back up to its original price, then slowly marked down. Stores put up signs advertising discounts of 20%-50%, but the upper end of that range is largely theoretical.
Even the Sears Canada Twitter account has been explaining this over and over to customers, pointing out that the liquidators now own all merchandise and are in charge of setting prices.
“The only sign that had 50% off were the ads on the windows…inside every sale sign was 20%,” one shopper observed over the weekend.
Maybe customers were looking for items discounted to 50% and throwing everything else on the floor. That’s certainly what it looked like in images that shoppers have posted on social media since liquidation sales began on Oct. 19.
Here’s a one-minute video that a shopper took over the weekend. (Do not watch this video if you’re prone to motion sickness, since the footage is very wobbly and very fast.)
Here’s a steadier video of a similar shoe department scene: