The liquidation hasn't actually begun. There are no sale prices. No special deals. And yet traffic in the store was of Christmas proportions. It has to be said that a great deal of that traffic was of the inquiring-minds-want-to-know variety. Are we still open, when will we close, what sales do we have, are we still honoring coupons, what about gift cards, what stores will be staying open. Valid questions, all, but still rather tiring...and, after eight hours of it more than a little tiresome as well.
Yet the looky-loos accounted only for a portion of the traffic in the store. There were an extraordinary number of shoppers, buying holiday sized armloads of product. Many people were trying to use up their gift cards while they could (although, I'm happy to say, the liquidators have reportedly agreed to take gift cards throughout the process). But just as many people were there, I think, to show solidarity with us, sympathy for us, and maybe, a few of them, empathy.
I'll take any kind words and good vibes that come my way, and I hate to be the one to break the news, but folks...fantastic sales numbers in the three days before the entire company goes into liquidation is not magically going to forestall the event. Still and all, I'll take nice over nasty any day of the week, and I'm happy to report that with all of the questions, the prodding, the probing, only one customer was out-and-out mean to me today.
"Where are the audio books that are marked down?" she asked me.
"None are, yet," I said. "We're not actually in liquidation yet."
"You mean all these people are here to pay full price? That's ridiculous."
Hm. Doesn't look all that mean when typed out all clean like this. But believe me, the venom that dribbled out along with her words was very apparent when it was actually happening. A couple of other customers even patted me on the shoulder and expressed their sympathy (there it is again) after she walked away.
Do you think it will get any better? No, I don't either.
1 month ago