(Although there's an older Kmart thread, I figured a new topic would be more relevant and helpful.)Consumerist article with list of closures (sorted by state, as of March 7th)
Just got back from the local Kmart (Lancaster, OH). All toys, including Lego sets, are 20% off the normal store price, although there are a few older sets with slightly marked down clearance price tags.
The clearance just started today (Thursday, March 10th), so nothing was really picked over yet. They do have some March wave sets, namely, the two smaller Captain America: Civil War
sets and some Mighty Micros, plus plenty of Minecraft, City, Ninjago, Creator, Friends, and Elves, as well as some older Chima and Agents sets (primarily in a clearance/miscellaneous aisle). Also, there were some other Marvel/DC Super Heroes and Star Wars
sets, but not really a wide selection. I did spot some "retired"/"sold out" sets in the Friends area and elsewhere (e.g. Guardians of the Galaxy #76020
).For those who have been to stores farther along in the closure process this year,
how low did the Lego discounts get and on what timetable? (E.g., how fast did any discounts drop after the clearance sale started?) -- I'm primarily wondering if much deeper price slashes are possible, say down to 40% or more off, even if its just for some odd Friend sets, as I'm looking, but not in a hurry, to build up a cache of useful parts for MOC'ing and such. -- I also plan on stopping in again (and again) at this Kmart location in the coming weeks, so I should post some updates, whether the discounts improve or not.
And, to partially answer my own question, I found this aptly titled blog post Special Report: The closing of a Kmart - Buford, GA, which details the closure process for one store, back in 2012 (emphasis added):
The timeline for the Lancaster, Ohio store is a bit different, but right now it seems to be at what they are calling "the pre-GOB sale," with everything at least 10% off. If the pattern turns out to be similar, I'd expect to see the "full liquidation mode" starting around April 1st, if not sooner.
Update: March 18th
Toy discounts have inched up to 25% off. Still plenty of Lego sets available, I'd say about 90%+ of what I saw last week, though some themes/sub-themes looked to be more sold out than others. For example, I think the few Civil War sets they had are all gone now, while Friends looks basically untouched. Also, all Lego sets now have price tags on them showing the base price (before the %-off is applied).
I did find a lone #70804 Ice Cream Machine that I picked up for $21.00 after discounts, which must have been hiding somewhere, since I did not spot it last week, nor on prior trips in January and December. (For comparison, prevailing eBay prices for the set, with shipping, are in the $30-$35 range and the Amazon marketplace price is about $38.)
Oh and your Ice Cream truck has been there for eons now, but they are bringing in stock from other stores, mostly shelf warming ninjago so far. I'm there a lot. I know where every set in that place is hiding :)
I just received a $20 off $75 "surprise points" coupon which comes out to ~27% OFF. (^_^). If you are like me, I was able to stack it with discounted sets, cashback site, and used discounted gift cards as payment. I was able to get my sets for about 50% off.
Disclaimer again: I know it's YMMV, so please don't get upset about this if you cannot replicate. This is just a heads up for those who may want to check out Kmart as a source for sets that they may want. One may not get 50% off but could still get a good deal on some sets.
If you don't know how to check for surprise points, this is how I do it: go to shopyourway.com, sign in and click on upper right corner where it shows how many rewards points you have. If someone knows how to do it another way, please let us know.
I do not shop at Sears or Kmart often, but I always stock up on their gift cards if I see them at 20% off. However, if you do not have one on hand, you can purchase discounted eGiftcards (eCode) at various reputable sites. Brief search indicate that you get eCode for up to 7% off. If you want to try stacking this way, I want to stress that I ONLY do eCode and use all of it right away. I got burned with resold gift cards before and even if seller offers 45-days protection, it's not worth all the hassle.
Lastly, the discounted sets are what you expected, but just so you know, #31037 Adventure Vehicles is approx 27% off.
(One Month After Clearance Sale Started)
Toy discounts are now up to 40% off, after staying at 30% off for the past few weeks.
Sets still in stock include the Deep Sea Explorer sets (#60090, #60092, #60093), the #60068 Crooks Hideout, #60033 Arctic Ice Crawler (all with some box damage), #31039 Creator Blue Power Jet, Creator #31019 Forest Animals and #31021 Furry Creatures. Other Creator sets include some of the small vehicles sets (#31023, #31029, #31037) Of the newer sets, there are several Nexo Knights "Ultimate" sets left.
Also, lots of Ninjago, Chima, and some mid-sized Ultra Agents sets.
In the Friends area, there were about a dozen #41095 Emma's House sets lefts, along with some #41097 Heartlake Hot Air Balloons, plus some pop star sets, including a couple of the buses, as well as several of the Elves #41078 Sky Castle sets.
Lesson learned: do not buy small kits from Kmart.
Surprisingly, I've also stopped at a K-Mart before for an emergency poop...Not the cleanest of facilities, but I've pooped in worse!
Targets are generally the best. Always very clean.
I stopped by K-mart today for sunblock and I found an ice cream truck as well. No other clearance though. I like using the points for lego when they do have sales. I remember they marked the changing season house down to $36.XX in the winter and I used $10 in points bringing it down to $26.XX.
Today I was surprised to see a bunch of these on the shelf at Kmart mixed in with nexo knights and star wars (price checked at $9.99).
I erroneously thought all Kmarts were closing, hence why I attempted to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
I routinely saved 35 to 40% by utilizing the programs surprise points and coupons. It was always just a matter of patience and lining up your purchases in a way that would maximize the benefits.
SYWR was still eligible at my store even though it was closing. The rewards coupled with the 30% off closing sale on toys allowed me to save 50%+ on a lot of sets. For a brief few weeks, I felt like I was @Thanos75
One of the K-Marts by me is closing. Unsurprisingly, it happens to be the one that has a Target and Walmart within 5 minutes of it that are also just as easy to get to.
I've gotten some great deals at it over the years. Not sure I'll be able to cash in on any Lego though. Clearance Lego around here moves off the shelf insanely quick, usually well before I get a chance to get anything, and my cash flow isn't the greatest right now.
The article says that the liquidation sales start May 12th, but if you have a local store that is on this new list, I would start checking your local newspaper for store closing advertisements. For my local store, a quarter-page ad has been appearing every Thursday since the sale started (March 10th).
Also... Update on the Lancaster, Ohio store (April 21st): Toys discounts are now up to 50% off. No stock update, as I have not been in the store this week.
Here's a week-by-week summary of the listed toy discounts for the store and my inventory notes (YMMV for other store's liquidation sales):
They were 40% off and I was able to use the $10 off $50 or more from Shop Your Way, meaning it was essentially 50% off. The only thing I wasn't happy about was the random $1 above MSRP price on the Protector of Ice.
Star Wars was cleaned out except for some Captain Phasma buildable figures and a couple random battle packs. I may go back later in the week for the Race Boat and 4x4 Off Roader from City if they still have them.
I greatly appreciate your detailed reporting on the clearance process. I was looking all over for just this kind of info.
Sounds like your town doesn't have the population and/or economic activity to support these businesses?
Now, most of those you mentioned are dinosaurs in this e-commerce age but even my TRUs, BBs, ONs, Sears, and JcPs are holding on.
They went out of business a few years ago, and honestly the shopping mall they were a part of it isn't doing very well outside of the anchor stores and the comics/cards store. I wish they'd just tear that mall down and put the half mile dirt track back.
Regarding my area, if you consider the area's just outside the city I live near, it manages to support 3 Targets and 3 Walmarts. There's also a second KMart that isn't closing.
As I noted above though, the KMart that is closing near me was pretty well cleaned out of Star Wars.