Customers visiting Las Vegas' two Ultimate Electronics stores were having trouble finding any must-have bargains Tuesday, despite the "Going Out of Business" banners and signs indicating discounts up to 50 percent off on some items.
Frank Bailey, for instance, walked out of the Rainbow Plaza location empty-handed. Bailey is building a home-theater system and has been comparison-shopping for TVs and other gadgets. For a liquidation, he said, the prices were too high.
"I would have bought a couple of things, but the prices were way out of line," Bailey said. "I probably won't come back, unless I see a sign that says 70 or 80 percent off, maybe."
Mary Armstrong was looking for a 32-inch television in the $200 price range, but couldn't find anything below $300.
"I will check it out one more time before they close," she said.
A spokesman for one of the companies handling Ultimate Electronics' liquidation said that discounts will get steeper as the sale, which began Saturday, continues although merchandise will grow scarce.
"The best values are at the beginning, because that's when the (most) amount of inventory is available," Craig Venezia of Gordon Bros. Group said. "Discounts are all based on consumer demand. The more merchandise available at the beginning is where the best selection will be."
For now, shoppers can expect merchandise discounted up to 30 percent off at the Ultimate Electronics stores at 2555 E. Tropicana Ave. and 741 S. Rainbow Blvd.
Signs placed around the Rainbow store said that some items were selling for up to 50 percent off their original prices. And while one speaker mount previously priced at $41.99 was on sale for $9.99, most of the discounts were in the 10 percent to 15 percent range.
One 50-inch Samsung plasma television, originally priced at $1,199.99, was on sale for $1,079.99. A Panasonic Blu-ray DVD player was on sale for $161.99, down from $179.99.
A couple of the better sale prices: a 58-inch Samsung flat-panel TV, originally priced at $2,299.99, was on sale for $1,594.99, and a sofa, once $1,199.99, was marked down to $899.99.
All sales made from here forward are final. Purchases that were made before Friday can be returned with a receipt and in accordance with the store's return policy.
And while consumers are on the prowl for the best deals, the realty company that owns the retail space Ultimate Electronics occupies is looking for new tenants.
Jennifer Massey, spokeswoman for Houston-based property manager Weingarten Realty, said the company has been marketing the 31,558-square-foot Ultimate Electronics location at Rainbow Plaza since the retailer filed for bankruptcy Jan. 26, and is in the very early stages of negotiating with parties interested in taking over the space.
Rainbow Plaza is considered a "power center" due to anchors like Home Depot, JCPenney Home Furnishing Store and 24 Hour Fitness, which means the shopping center may be able to quickly draw a new tenant when Ultimate Electronics closes. The Tropicana Avenue location could have more difficulty, as it is populated by mainly local or regional retailers.
Gatski Commercial Real Estate Services investment sales and leasing specialist Nicholas Barber said Ultimate Electronics' closures are not a reflection on Las Vegas, but rather on the retailer.
"I don't think people need to look at it as a continuation of our commercial market sliding, because (Ultimate Electronics) filed for bankruptcy on the entire company," Barber said. "Other than adding more vacancy, I don't think it should have too much of an effect."
Two weeks after filing for bankruptcy, the consumer electronics retailer's parent companies, Ultimate Acquisition Partners LP and CC Retail LLC, requested permission from a Delaware bankruptcy court to liquidate inventory and close the chain's 46 stores nationwide.
The company hired advisory firms Gordon Bros. Group and Hilco Merchant Resources to jointly operate the going-out-of-business sales, which will continue until inventory is sold out.
Employees at both local stores referred requests for comment to Ultimate Electronics' headquarters in Thornton, Colo. Messages left for the company were not returned.
Contact reporter Caitlin McGarry at email@example.com or 702-387-5273.