Shoppers still waiting for Target liquidation sales
Shoppers enter a Target store in Toronto on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. (Colin Perkel / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Angela Mulholland and Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, January 30, 2015 8:03AM EST
Canadian shoppers hoping to capitalize on Target's demise may have to wait a bit longer for the retailer's liquidation sales.
The soon-to-be-former Canadian branch of the American retailer is still not offering a firm date on when it will begin slashing prices to clear inventory. Individual stores are reportedly holding unadvertised clearance sales on certain stock items, but Target has some legal hurdles to overcome before it can start a full-scale fire sale.
Target Canada says it's waiting for the court to appoint a liquidator as part of its bankruptcy protection process. A spokesperson for Target said the liquidator will likely be chosen in early February, but couldn't give a firm date.
The spokesperson added that no additional flyers will be produced in the meantime.
Target announced on Jan. 15 that it was pulling up stakes in Canada and closing all 133 stores. The decision came after less than two years of operation in Canada and means the loss of more than 17,000 jobs.
Target Canada said at the time that it expected the liquidation process to begin in "approximately two to three weeks." Two weeks later, it was still saying sales would begin in "two to three weeks."
In one of its most recent Twitter replies, Target Canada got a little more specific and said the liquidation would start in "early February." But it didn't give a firm date.
@ajaz_ Thanks for asking! Following court approval of a liquidator, it is anticipated that liquidation will likely begin in early February.— Target Canada (@TargetCanada) January 28, 2015
The lack of store-wide sales has not stopped shoppers from swarming to many outlets to scoop up items before they go out of stock.
Several bargain-hunting forums have launched Target threads to track unadvertised clearance sales at individual stores. Photos posted on the website Smart Canucks show toys and cosmetics on sale for as much as 75 per cent off.
For the most part, customers are finding bare shelves and a business-as-usual attitude at the stores, with only select items on sale. But many are also finding bigger crowds, longer-than-usual wait times at checkouts and a lack of grocery items.
Starbucks has also closed up shop at all locations inside Target stores.
Once Target's liquidation sales begin, it's not clear how long they will last. The company continues to say the liquidations will take 16 to 20 weeks – the same figure it's been giving for a fortnight.
As for which stores will close first, that will likely depend on how long Target can keep stock on the shelves.
@tabersaurous Stores will remain open on a case-by-case basis during the liquidation period. On average, this process may take 16-20 weeks.— Target Canada (@TargetCanada) January 28, 2015