The once-bustling headquarters of Family Christian Stores has become a giant garage sale venue featuring trophies of its glory days, store shelves and vacant office cubicles.
“There are a lot of neat things here that have a local attachment,” says Bill Melvin, owner of Liquid Asset Partners, the company that will conduct the online auction to complete the liquidation of the nation’s largest retailer of Christian books and merchandise.
Unable to compete with online retailers despite a bankruptcy reorganization two years ago, Family Christian Stores will close all of its 240 stores in 36 states by the end of April. Most of them are marking down items up to 60 percent as they clear their shelves.
Family Christian’s corporate headquarters and distribution center, which employed 136 persons locally, has already closed and is preparing for an online auction of items left behind at the headquarters at 5300 Patterson Avenue SE and the distribution center at 4480 44th Street SE.
While much of the sale will dispose of run-of-the-mill desks, chairs and tables, Melvin said he expects active bidding on the more unusual items that once hung on the walls of the offices.
For example, there’s the gleaming frame of platinum records to celebrate the 8 million recordings the chain sold in the days before music was downloaded over the Internet.
Other items include desktop crosses, inspirational posters, laptop computers, extension cords, product tables, store fixtures, mannequins and cubicles – lots of cubicles.
Melvin, whose company conducts 30 to 50 sales a year, said most of the high-tech material handling equipment for the company’s e-commerce operations was sold earlier to give the buyers time to dismantle their purchases.
Automated equipment used to store, sort and pick products for e-commerce applications are in high demand, Melvin said.
SOURCE: Jim Harger