Grand Valley residents poured into Circuit City Sunday, just days after the company announced it was closing all of its US stores and liquidating all of its merchandise. While shoppers say the savings are great, they admit the sale is bittersweet as they watch another business in the Valley go bust.
Parking spaces full, automatic doors staying wide open, and signs pointing out the way, thousands of Grand Valley shoppers flocked to the Circuit City store on Highway 6 & 50 with a mission.
"Hoping to get a good deal, we heard they're going out of business," said Circuit City shopper Randy Tange.
"We came out to see what they had deal wise and buy [my brother] a new big TV," said Circuit City shopper Jane Nelson.
This weekend, Circuit City began its liquidation sale, offering everything in the store for up to 30 percent off of retail price. With retail values of most electronic items in the hundreds and thousands, people like Nelson who was shopping for an HDTV, say it's a sale you just can't pass up.
"Anywhere between ten and fifteen percent off, so they're marked down pretty good," said Nelson. "It was a really good deal. We paid twice that a few months ago."
Between the long lines at the registers and the packed aisles, customers say it seems a lot of other people couldn't pass up the sales either.
"It's a mad house, it's crazy," said Circuit City shopper Larry Wilkinson. "People are going all over the place."
"It was packed," said Nelson. "Lots of people and lots of kids."
"It looks like a zoo out here in the parking lot," said Tange.
While shoppers say they're pleased with their purchases --
"I bought a cell phone adapter and a few other things," said Wilkinson.
"A car CD player because one of us has to drive to the oil field every day and it's a long drive without anything to listen to," said Tange.
-- They say it's too bad the bargains had to come at a greater expense. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2008, Circuit City had hoped it could find a buyer that would bailout the company. When no such buyers were found, officials say they were forced to close all 567 stores in the US. As a result, roughly 34,000 people are losing their jobs.
"I just wish they weren't going out of business," said Tange. "It's just more jobs lost. We need more jobs, so that's a little scary for the town, losing another business."
"Anytime a business closes, it's a sad thing," said Wilkinson.
In a news release, Circuit City officials said the closing sales will run as long as it takes to sell inventory. They expect things to wrap up by the end of March.