Eastgate City Market swarmed by close-out shoppers
Eager bargain shoppers at the Eastgate City Market were snatching up deals this week on literally everything, from toilet paper to vitamins.
Every item in the store — excluding liquor, tobacco and gift cards — was marked 50 percent off as part of the close-out sale, and many a shelf was empty come Wednesday afternoon as the store’s inventory dwindled rapidly.
The store on North Avenue, which opened in 1974, is set to close permanently Saturday. The space is listed for sale with Bray and Co. Commercial Real Estate.
“Nearly all the meat and fresh food items were gone last night,” Margaret Brown, assistant store manager, said Wednesday.
Some shoppers arrived as early as 4 a.m. Wednesday as word spread of the super deals. The store opened at 6:30 a.m.
“We’ve had more customers in the past two days than I’ve ever seen,” said Mondo Archuleta, a store employee.
Shoppers flocked from all over the Grand Valley to score discounted groceries, paper products and over-the-counter medicines. Some shoppers sought to stock up on multitudes of name-brand products, and others came for just a specific item or two.
Kris Carmona pushed an overloaded cart through the aisles around noon Wednesday. As a mother of two, Carmona said she’s always looking for discounts on items her family uses regularly, such as baby food and diapers. She splurged at the sale on luxury items such as Gorgonzola cheese and exotic spices.
“I came here to get as much baby stuff as I could. I got pacifiers and teething rings, and I bought some really nice fabric softener,” Carmona said.
Many shoppers, like Karen Dow, said they never shopped at the Eastgate location previously. She was busy filling her third cart after returning to the store Wednesday.
“I got so much yesterday that I couldn’t carry it all,” she said with a smile. This cart was filled with “fancier jams and cookies,” which Dow planned to include in her holiday gift baskets.
“I’ve been looking at the expiration dates, so I think I have a couple of years’ worth of jelly,” she said.
“The best deals were the ad items,” said Archuleta, adding City Market’s value-card customers received the store discount plus an additional 50 percent off.
Slower-moving items included organic, vegetarian and gluten-free snacks; fishing supplies; light bulbs; candles; and makeup.
“Some of this (remaining) stuff you can still get cheaper at other stores,” said Amanda Talley, a savvy shopper.
But, many shoppers admitted to getting caught up in the excitement of discount shopping and bought more than they had planned.
“I’ve got way too much,” Brian Harris said with a laugh. “But it’s half of what I would have spent otherwise.”
“I probably wouldn’t have bought some of this right now,” said Lisa McHugh of Clifton, “but some of it is what I’d buy regularly.”
Most shoppers reported waiting in line at the checkout stand for an average of 30 minutes or more. Some of the lines stretched well into the middle of the store, but shoppers were patient and felt it was well worth the wait, especially those who said they saved hundreds of dollars on their purchases.
Archuleta guessed the last item to be sold in the store would be a bottle of hair gel.
Brown said even if the inventory is gone, employees will remain in the building until Saturday, “most likely cleaning,” until the store permanently closes Saturday.
The majority of the Eastgate store’s 71 associates will transfer to the new, 58,000-square-foot store at 24 and Patterson roads, set to open Dec. 15.