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Workers outnumber stocked racks at soon-to-be-closed stores

For those who revel in the misery of others, this is surely the best Christmas ever.

Mervyns is empty.

Linens-N-Things is almost out of linens. And things. The Great Indoors is no longer great, and there’s no more fooling around at KB Toys.

They’re all going out of business, liquidating, emptying their shelves and then selling the shelves, too. Take delight, you lovers of others’ misfortune.

There are so many stores-that-soon-won’t-be-stores-anymore that you could have, realistically and without sacrifice, done all of your Christmas shopping at them.

"Going out of Business" is the new "Merry Christmas."

Which means bargains!

Half off!

Nothing held back!

Make us an offer!

So we waited at these doomed retail establishments. We waited for the crowds. We waited for the procrastinators. We waited to interview them so we could make fun of them.

Helllloooooo. Is anybody there? Hello?


Well then.

The hordes of last-minute shoppers must have been somewhere else Wednesday. They must have been. Because they certainly weren’t, you know, shopping the going-out-of-business sales.

Parking spaces were easy to find. There were few lines anywhere. Even the Las Vegas Premium Outlets near downtown Las Vegas, where the KB Toys outlet is, didn’t seem Christmas-busy.

Maybe nobody’s procrastinating anymore. Maybe this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into forced us all to face reality. Plan ahead, be adults, get it done long before it absolutely must be done.

Or maybe not. Maybe nobody’s got any money. Maybe that’s our new reality.

Belinda Lee doesn’t have much money. She walked out of Mervyns near Meadows mall on Wednesday morning with bags full of stuff. Shirts, boots, dresses for her granddaughters. It was all 90 percent off.

She spent $42.

"That’s all you can afford right now," she said.

Terina Sauvao spent $37 on 32 items at the same Mervyns, where there were literally more employees on duty Wednesday than there were racks of clothing left in the store. The customers barely outnumbered them.

"This is our favorite place to shop," Sauvao said. "I didn’t even know it was going out of business until this morning."

Chevon Jensen was at the KB Toys outlet. She hadn’t planned on shopping there, but the blaring signs lured her in.

She left with a bag full of toys, all deeply discounted.

"I still got four more people or so to go," she said.

Rose Farwell spent a few dollars at the Linens-N-Things on North Rainbow Boulevard. "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" forced faux happiness into the proceedings through the internal music system.

Empty shelves encircled the store. Neon banners hung from the ceiling. Employees stood watching, with nothing else to do.

Farwell pawed through a cart full of random stuff. Mostly hand-held vibrating massagers. Pink. She grabbed a couple, for stocking stuffers.

"I’ll probably end up with some stuff for myself, too," she said.

Sometimes, 60 to 80 percent off does matter.

Sometimes not.

Jorian Cripe browsed there, too. She looked through the art. She fiddled with knickknacks. Then she left, with nothing.

"It’s all kind of damaged or picked over," she said

She meant the merchandise, not our collective psyche.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307.

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