LIQUIDATORS, PAST AND PRESENT
Event Sales in Minneapolis used to have eight stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin selling returns and closeouts but now sells mostly to national and international liquidators. Discount 70 in Columbia Heights is its only remaining retail location.
Jacobs Trading in Hopkins is now owned by Liquidity Services, and is still a major international liquidation company. The parent company closed the Brand Name Deals store in Fridley, which sold returns from Wal-Mart and Costco, but it is expected to reopen in December as a Salvation Army store selling only new, returned goods.
Ax-Man Surplus, with four Twin Cities locations, has been a niche liquidation business for industrial products for more than 50 years. It's the kind of place to find a heating element for a Mr. Coffee, but not a whole coffeemaker.
DealSmart, which opened in 2009 by former executives at Petters, sells a variety of liquidated clothing, home goods and food in Little Canada and Mounds View.
Opitz Outlet in St. Louis Park and Minnetonka sells odd lots of designer clothing and accessories. A St. Paul store is planned for 2013.
Closed: Banks salvage store in Minneapolis, famous for bargains and a dank basement occasionally filled with wet clothes from a hurricane insurance settlement, closed in 1999 and resurfaced briefly in 2005 when the new owner, Hudson Salvage of Mississippi, opened three temporary stores.
Closed: Petters Warehouse Direct stores were shuttered in 2008 in the fallout from Tom Petters' Ponzi scheme and bankruptcy.