My tiny towns Kmart lease was running out at the end of March, so they put up Store Closing! signs in January. I have to say that I have never seen cars at this Kmart location like this the entire eight years we’ve lived here. Apparently when people think that they are getting a deal they will flock to the store.
I stopped in week before last to see what type of deals they had. I have to say that I wasn’t impressed. The store had taken a pricing gun and priced each item individually. So a set of Joe Boxer pajamas that you can buy right now for $13.99 on their website, were repriced with the price gun for $31.99. Seriously!?!
But apparently, common sense goes out the window when you put up going out of business signs. There were people with buggies (shopping carts for everyone not from the south) piled high with merchandise. I was shocked. Needless to say, I left without buying anything.
Have you ever been to a store closing event? I don’t believe that I had. They were selling everything and I mean everything. As they were clearing off the shelves, they pushed the merchandise closer to the front of the store and put up
murder scene caution tape to keep people herded toward the front of the store. They were selling the office desks, shelving units and everything else that wasn’t nailed down, literally.
I did go back three days before the store closed for good. I wanted to see if the prices had improved. They had somewhat. I bought my husband two sets of Everlast workout clothes. Original price total $87.96 before tax and $17.96 for all four pieces after the store closing discounts. At $3.99 and $4.99 per piece it wasn’t a bad deal by that point. I also bought my daughter some Katy Perry perfume that had been knocked down from $59.99 to $8.39 to hide for Christmas. That was the sum total of awesomeness that I found.
Now the next thing I am going to tell you would never hold up in a court of law, because I heard it from a friend of mine. She is retired and wanted to make a little extra money so she signed up to be a cashier for the last two months of the store closing. I personally thought that she was out of her mind, because why would a woman in her late sixties want to stand on her feet for 8 hours a day for minimum wage?!? But, she liked the interaction with all the people that were flocking to the great sales! I’ll call her Jane Doe.
Jane worked right up until the store closed on Sunday. She was scheduled to work 12 to 7 on the last day. The store was supposed to be open until 7 PM that day. She said that they started announcing over the intercom at 2:50 PM that the store would be closing at 3:00 PM and for all customers to make their way to the front to check out. She said everyone was very confused but she wasn’t the boss so she just kept ringing up the sales. Everything had been marked down to 90% off at this point. They finally herded everyone out at 4:15 PM. Keep in mind these people were still browsing and buying items when they herded them out the door.
At 4:15 PM they locked the door and announced to all the workers that now they were going to “penny out” the remainder of the the items that were left in the store. Jane said that she had no idea what they were talking about and neither did any of the other associates.
Management brought everything, and I mean everything, that was left in the store to the checkout lines in buggies. They loaded it onto the conveyor belt and told the cashiers to ring each item up for a penny. After it was rung up, the person at the end of the conveyor belt destroyed each item. Blue jeans, makeup, jackets, perfume, food, shoes, over the counter medicine, etc. If you could buy it at Kmart and it was left on the shelf, it was destroyed. The clothing was cut up with scissors. The makeup was opened and smashed or poured out. Anything liquid was opened and poured out. Cd’s were taken out of their packages and broken with hammers or nail polish poured over. Jane said the smell was horrendous.
She said that she herself rang up over 80 pair’s of girls and women’s winter tights. That they cut up with scissors. She said that one of the cashiers cried as she rang up merchandise and watched the total destruction. All to keep people from taking it out of the dumpsters after the store shut down.
In our tiny town, we have a women’s shelter that is in constant need of clothing and household items to help battered women get back on their feet, who may show up with literally nothing but the clothes on their body. I know for a fact that they would have taken the clothing items.
What is wrong with our society that a business would rather destroy perfectly good items rather than give them to someone who can actually use them? Our landfills are overflowing with garbage and this business is adding to it with merchandise that they were literally!! selling 10 minutes before. That’s insane people. Insane.
There is another Kmart at the next adjoining town to us 25 minutes away, so why wasn’t it all boxed up and sent over there to be sold as normal merchandise? The whole thing makes me sick, literally sick to my stomach.