Sonia Kashuk was just about the last one out the door Wednesday.
Professional make-up artist to the stars and supermodels (like Cindy Crawford) Kashuk has her own line of lush cosmetics. Her products are widely featured in Target stores across the U.S. and Canada.
Baskets piled high with Kashuk brand blush, eyeliner, lipstick, nail polish, facial cleansers and other beauty products still remained in the hours before Target closed its doors to the public at the Prince George location.
Shoppers began loading up their carts with pounds of the product (even the wealthiest women I know buy the brand sparingly because it’s usually a little pricey for the average glam girl’s budget.)
There was no mass beauty makeover going on. The truth is, there was precious little else to buy on Wednesday night. Last minute shoppers saw most of the store cordoned off with tape (well, it is like a crime scene) and just a few racks of goods remained near the front of the store. Bins of lacy thongs, SM and XL, two pairs of beige size 10 high heels and some racks of CDs by (to me) unfamiliar artists – and a few dozen cans of flea and tick spray.
Shoppers had stripped the shelves down to the bare fixtures – and even most of those were sold. An affable middle-aged man, who appeared to be in charge of the store’s local liquidation sales, was walking around, surveying the crowd.
There was no frantic frenzy.
People stood in line, patiently and politely, waiting their turn at the till. Clerks did their job, working quickly and still smiling and greeting “guests.” Then the man in charge spoke, and in an American southern drawl, announced the death knoll.
“Everything is now 99 per cent off,” he told the crowd. Everyone looked at each other in disbelief. There was stunned silence.
Then they went back for more, like vultures they swooped down for their prey.
I come by my bargain hunting honestly. My Scots and British ancestors loved to outdo each other by finding the lowest price for everything from petrol to potatoes. So here I was, me and two friends – penny pinchers, like wolves, do better hunting in packs – in the final moments of Target, moving in for the kill. An elderly lady in front of me could not believe it when the male cashier said:
“That comes to seven cents.”
Another woman who went through the till with a cart full of goods originally priced at over $400 came out the side with a sales receipt for $4.
My purchases, mostly cosmetics, came to $1.30. That included a bottle of vitamin pills for canines (expiry date 2017). I don’t even have a dog. But my editor does. And he dotes on her. Honestly, if Daisy could write, I too would be out of a job. Anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures and I thought the reduced-to-ten-cents item might curry me some favour with the boss and I’d maybe get the day off Friday.
In all, 133 Target stores in Canada will close before April 12. And while it may have happened here on April Fool’s Day, it’s no joke that many former local employees will have to find new jobs and mend their psyches. That part hurts.
But back to the bargains. I felt a pang of guilt as I walked out the door then it struck me of all the sales I’ve been to in my lifetime, I never, ever got to 99 per cent off.
Even with no math skills and my friend’s cell phone calculator, I knew that came to mere pennies.
My receipt came to $1.52. A note at the bottom read: Total Savings This Trip $151.03. This trip – and last trip. The countdown to closing Wednesday came very much like New Years Eve in New York.
The ball got dropped (who knows by who.) All that was left was three giant red balls sitting outside the Target store – with no one around to play ball.