Herberger's going out of business sale started April 20 and was supposed to last 10 to 12 weeks. It has now been extended to the end of August.
According to a rep from Great American Group, one of the liquidators for the Twin Cities' stores. the company is still trying to empty its many warehouses around the country, so truckloads of merchandise are still being delivered to stores.
Others think there may be another reason for the extension--discounts so small in the beginning that many potential customers never returned. Susan Nielsen of Minneapolis shopped the sale on day one and came away empty handed. "That's not much of a liquidation" she said coming out of Herberger's Southtown.
Initial discounts were 10 to 30 percent, which is considered modest for a going-out-business sale from a department store that typically had 30 to 50 percent off sales, When Macy's started its closing sale in downtown Minneapolis, discounts were 20 to 40 percent. As of this week Herberger's discounts are now 50 to 70 percent. Some shoppers don't think that's significant enough after 10 weeks of a quitting business sale.
"The deals should be better by now," said Karol Delgato of St. Paul, who shopped the St. Paul Herberger's on Thursday. "Children's pj's were $22 after the discount. I can get a better deal at Carter's with a coupon."
Irwin Jacobs, founder of Jacobs Trading in Hopkins, which specializes in opportunistic buying, said starting at 10 percent off was "ridiculous. If people think the discounts are too low, they don't come back," he said.
Jerrod Smith, who works for Great American, said customers coming in a couple of months ago were not happy with the discounts. "They were used to deeper discounts from Herberger's, so the 10 to 20 percent dragged it out," he said. "Now that it's 50 to 70 percent off, traffic is building."
When Sam's Club started its closing sale in St. Louis Park earlier this year, the discounts started at 25 percent, then 50 percent and finally 75 percent. "There was nothing left but dust by the time they closed," Jacobs said.
Bon-Ton, the parent company that included Herberger's, Younkers and other name plates, has metro stores in Blaine, Bloomington, Edina, Roseville, St. Paul and Stillwater. A clearance store in Maplewood closed earlier this year. The company has 254 stores in the process of closing.