When Macy's in St. Paul started its going-out-of-business sales January 7, there was no Oriental rug department. But it didn't take long before the rugs appeared, along with some assorted furniture. The same thing happened when Bloomingdale's closed at Mall of America last year. (Macy's is the parent company that also owns Bloomingdale's.)
Eventually, Bloomingdale's MOA was selling its entire selection of rugs at 80 percent off (it stayed at 80 percent until closing.). The rugs at Macy's St. Paul are currently 70 percent off, but earlier this week a salesperson expected the discount to increase to 75 percent before the closing in several weeks. He didn't expect the discount to go to 80 percent because the sourcing is different.
For bargain hunters, the percentage is irrelevant. Oriental rugs are one of those commodities where prices are almost always flexible. You may not be able to throw out a low ball offer on a sweater (unless it's damaged), but rugs are fair game.
The salesperson may start out by saying something like 75 percent off being unprecedented, but when you ask if they can do better, the answer will most likely be yes. Expect at least an additional 10 percent off, but more is possible.
The same holds true at Grand Oriental Rugs in Edina on France Ave., which is closing at the end of March. Macy's is expected to close by mid-March.