Help! Family Buying Appliances Were Locked Inside Sears

A family shopping for appliances were locked inside a Sears store in Maplewood, MN, says the local Fox affiliate. Anthony (who was scheduled to have hip surgery the next day), his wife Kathy and her sister Crystal were just about to buy a stove, a fridge and a dishwasher when they heard an announcement that the store was about to close. They asked an employee if they should just come back another day. He said no.

Fox Twin Cities says:

They asked the clerk if they should they come back the next day, he said no, they made the purchase, and headed for the exit.

They looked around and saw no one. Anthony, already in pain, went upstairs looking for the clerk.

They tried calling out from a store phone, while Anthony tried Sears on his cell phone, but then the lights went out.

Finally, they reached Maplewood police…

Eventually police arrived and sorted everything out.

Police checked the Brown family’s IDs and receipts, and the Sears representative eventually let them out.

Hey, it’s too bad Anthony was scheduled to have hip surgery the next morning — it might have been fun to spend the night inside a Sears.

Customers Accidentally Locked in Maplewood Sears After Hours [MyFox Twin Cities]

Comments

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  1. rdm says:

    Horror movie based on this in 3.. 2…

  2. spazztastic says:

    Why didn’t the commissioned sales clerk escort them to the exit?

    • CaptainSemantics says:

      @spazztastic: lol, because they were shopping at Sears

    • howie_in_az says:

      @spazztastic: Because he had already made his sale and disavowed all knowledge of the customer.

    • m4ximusprim3 says:

      @spazztastic: He was already halfway to the nearest drinking establishment, basking in the glow of Sears’ only sale in the past 4 months.

    • Corporate-Shill says:

      @spazztastic:

      Exactly my thought.

      First of all, if the customer remained in the store after hours the employee was required to notify management (who could monitor the customer’s departure).

      Secondly, the employee knew the customer’s were locked in and would assistance to depart.

      It is time to blame the employee on this one.

  3. downwithmonstercable says:

    I’ve always had a weird fantasy about living inside a mall.

  4. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    Salesman: “Someone’s actually buying our appliances! What should I do?”

    Manager: “Lock the store down until we can get video proof. I need to send this to corporate!”

    • HiEllie says:
    • Traveshamockery says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares: It would be funnier if it were true, but tons of people buy appliances from Sears.

      When I worked at Best Buy in college, I offered my Grandmother my employee discount to buy a washer and dryer. She insisted on paying hundreds more to buy the EXACT SAME washer and dryer at Sears, because “Sears appliances are better”.

      Sears is still riding the wave of a huge generation of loyal customers…unfortunately, they’re dying off, literally.

      • acarr260 says:

        @InfiniTrent: I thought Sears was all privately branded (Kenmore) so you couldn’t comparison shop for the exact same thing. That was common with other stores when I used to sell furniture in college.

        • TCTH says:

          @acarr260: Nah… they’ve been a full spectrum appliance retailer since the introduction of “Brand Central” years ago. When I was there we had Maytag, Whirlpool, GE… all of the bigger brands.

        • bobcatred says:

          @acarr260: Sears has privately branded appliances, but they sell the major brands too, so it’s entirely possible to buy the same thing at Sears or Best Buy.

          I think they stopped being brand exclusive in the 70’s-80’s. I think the furniture stores manage to get away with it since outside of La-Z-Boy there’s not really a whole lot of brand recognition. Sears appliances would have a harder time maintaining that when Whirlpool, GE, Frigidaire, Maytag, etc. are fairly well-recognized.

        • Tachyon0118 says:

          @acarr260: Kenmore=Whirlpool – Whirlpool Warranty

    • Velifer says:

      @The Name’s Ash78, Housewares:
      Yeah, we bought a dishwasher there once. We wanted to put it in the truck and take it home, but the store assured us of free next-day delivery.

      …Nope. They could only deliver during a few hours the next week. We’d have to take a day off work to wait. Went around on the phone with several increasingly unhelpful people, including the regional manager.

      Did a charge-back on that purchase in one hell of a hurry, and will NEVER shop at Sears again.

  5. itsallme says:

    Now the police are in the receipt checking business.

    • ManiacDan says:

      @itsallme: I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed this. They were locked up against their will and the police checked their receipts before letting them out? Absolutely not.

      • Anonymous says:

        The police come to check on people whom they have never met and say they were locked in the store. To me it sounds reasonable to check their ID and receipts if they had packages to verify the legality of them being in a store that is locked up and closed. How often is someone locked in a store-not often at all. What other means could they use to verify them?

      • Coles_Law says:

        @ManiacDan: to be fair, they could’ve been thieves who were trying to take some appliances. If I were the cops and found someone in a locked store, that would be my first thought. Granted, they had their kids with them…

  6. MyPetFly says:

    With the right Craftsman tools, it might have been possible to do his hip surgery in the store.

  7. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    What is this the insta-close mall? I’ve never been in a store that announces the store is closing and then REALLY closes like 2 minutes later. Weren’t there any clerks around, wtf?

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: Well, if it’s anything like the Sears by me, it takes about half an hour to check out. Of course, that’s just for a simple off the counter tool, so for something as complicated as an appliance that requires delivery, I’m betting 45 minutes to an hour minimum checkout time.

      Sears – seriously, get you f*&%ing act together (or sell craftsman tools somewhere else, then I guess I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if you went out of business)

    • oyvader says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese:

      With a bum hip, the guy probably wasn’t very mobile.

  8. monkeytown says:

    Wow, it’s a total childhood dream come true to be locked in a mall/grocery store/candy store/toy store.

  9. DrWebster says:

    Holy crap, that’s the Sears near my house. Been there many times, though unfortunately it’s a bit of a dive. Looks like the last time it was remodeled was back in the 70s. Considering the general unhelpfulness of their staff, I’m not terribly surprised this happened.

  10. IDesigner loves himself some car says:

    I went to my local mall to get a lawnmower blade from Sears. I had to run to the bathroom, which was just down the hall from Sears. I saw that they were closing in 10 minutes and didn’t think anything of it. There were still salespeople and customers inside of the store. Well, when I returned to the store 2 short minutes later, the lights were off, the door was locked, and not a soul was to be seen inside. So I went to Ace Hardware to get my lawnmower blade.

  11. Git Em SteveDave loves this guy->★ says:

    Don’t these stores have Emergency exits? Either way the cops are going to show up, so you might as well push the door.

  12. MarvinMar says:

    Not a horor movie….But there is already a movie like this
    Career Opportunities (1991)
    [www.imdb.com]

  13. Citizen Kang says:

    Was Jennifer Connelly in there wearing a tight wife-beater? If she was I see this as a win-win for everybody. In fact, I would have insisted on spending a few night a week locked in the big box store.

  14. SarcasticDwarf says:

    Ugg, I have how they are playing off that the guy has hip problems. It is totally irrelevant and designed only to drum up sympathy.

    • thewriteguy says:

      @SarcasticDwarf: The man’s hip surgery is probably the reason why this even made the news. If it were able-bodied persons who had nowhere special to go the next day, then I doubt this would have been considered newsworthy.

    • shufflemoomin says:

      @SarcasticDwarf: Of course they’re playing on it. It helps when they inevitably sue in the very near future. Never fail to mention something you rely on in court, you know.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @SarcasticDwarf:

      people always seem to have problems like this the day before or right after some sort of surgery.

      You’d think they would just chill and relax.

    • ShariC says:

      @SarcasticDwarf: It’s an issue because preparing for surgery requires special behavior regarding what you can and can’t eat or drink. I’m not sure Sears is a good place to spend the night under those circumstances. It also means that there was a level of urgency involved in getting out so it is therefore important for them to mention it in the story. I don’t think it was mentioned to elicit sympathy, but simply as a fact that was reported by the family. It certainly doesn’t seem to have gotten any sympathy from you.

  15. Ramza69 says:

    And this is news how?
    I worked at Sears for a year and I know of 2 occasions in my store alone where a customer was locked in the store. I know of more times at stores in the region where it happened too.
    I don’t think this is a consumerist issue. It is just an honest mistake that happens from time to time. It isn’t just SEars, but all stores.
    It happens.
    It is an accident. I’m sure Sears didn’t mean to lock the family up.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @Ramza69: It’s sensationalism from the first news outlet. The guy was going to have surgery, so that all of a sudden makes it news.

      I don’t mind Consumerist reporting on it though – it’s kind of a funny story, and it was interesting enough to get me and 6,000 people (at this point) to click on it.

    • mariospants says:

      @Ramza69: I agree. When I read the story title, I assumed the family had to bivouac overnight inside the SEARS and we’d hear all about where they found sustenance, what were the most comfortable couches and what entertainment they were able to come up with (i.e. receive cable on the television sets, swap all items in the toy department with the items in the “intimates” department, see how big a box pile they could make and surf down the escalator on something suitabley big and slidey).

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      @Ramza69: I used to work in a department store (not Sears) and I got locked in one night. It was pretty funny. When I tried to find a manager I set off the motion detector alarm. Called the cops and let them know what was up, they asked me what I was wearing and stuff. After a while, a manager showed up and let me go.

      Boy did I feel stupid.

  16. MrsLopsided says:

    Why didn’t they use an emergency exit?

    Reminds me of the joke about the family that was stuck on an escalator for hours waiting for a repair man.

  17. JanDuKretijn says:

    This story needs to be heavily edited. It doesn’t make much sense. They were about to buy some appliances, and the store was about to close. And then the clerk locked them in? Where does the fault lie?

    • phallusu says:

      i agree some facts are certainly not reported and makes the whole story suspect-my hip my hip my hip … uh, i wouldn’t feel better locked in hip or not

  18. Holden Caufield says I'm a phonie says:

    I used to work at Sears awhile ago, and the Sears where I worked at was fitted with motion detectors, which should have picked on the movement in the store after it closed and sounded the alarm (well, I think it’s a silent alarm) which would have prompted the security company to call whatever manager was on call, forcing that manager to come down to the store to silence the alarm. At least that’s how things used to be at the store I worked at…

    Also, after they made the purchase, the salesperson would have had to close down his register and take the money and checks collected throughout the day downstairs to the office. Meaning that there were employees in the store for several minuites after the trasaction was complete. What exactly was this couple doing that caused them to stay inside even longer?

    • MyPetFly says:

      @almigi:

      “What exactly was this couple doing that caused them to stay inside even longer?”

      • MyPetFly says:

        @MyPetFly:

        Crap… got submitted by mistake, but the joke won’t be funny now, so screw it.

        • Xkeeper says:

          @MyPetFly:

          I think the joke works pretty well, just in a figure-it-out-yourself style.

          As for “what they were doing”, it’s entirely possible that the transaction took a long time after the announcement (notice that when they mentioned it, they weren’t anywhere near done as they mentioned just coming back the next day). It wouldn’t surprise me if most of the employees had already left, especially considering that it’s Sears.

          • MyPetFly says:

            @Xkeeper:

            Thanks for the save! I owe you one… ;)

          • Holden Caufield says I'm a phonie says:

            @Xkeeper: Even if most of the employees have left, the salesperson was still there, as well as at least one manager. After the transaction was completed, the salesperson would still have to close down his register, and the manager would have to stay.

            However, the more I think about it, this is what I think happened: Because it was so late, and this couple was the last two customers in the store, all the doors except the main enterence (usually by merchandise pickup) were locked. The couple, however, had their car parked near another enterence and were trying to exit that way. When the door was locked, rather then look for help/another exit right away, they decided to wait and see if someone would notice them. Probably because the husband’s hip was bothering him and they didn’t want to wander all over the store looking for the manager/another exit.

            All I know is that after the transaction was complete, the salesperson and at least one manager would have been in the store for at least a five or ten minuites to close the register and lockup the store…

    • thenerdykatie says:

      @almigi:
      They might have motions but, they either don’t use the system or it is broken. The alarm should not have been able to be armed in “away” mode because of the people.

  19. spazztastic says:

    @undefined: @downwithmonstercable: I swear I read a book about this when I was a kid…maybe it was about the mannequins coming to life after closing. Or was that the plot of the same book? Aggghhh…holey childhood memory :(

  20. katylostherart says:

    perhaps people should actually check stores before locking them up for the night? i mean who the hell ever heard of a a store clearing out of customers the second the announcement is made?

  21. everclear75 says:

    @spazztastic: you mean like the movie ?

  22. Toof_75_75 says:

    I’m so jealous. This would be so much fun!

  23. DarkKnightShyamalan says:

    When the cops asked to check their receipts, they should have said no and asked for a manager!

    Am I right, guys??

  24. Anonymous says:

    I used to work at a Sears, and I can see how this happened. Likely what happened is the commissioned salesperson made the sale, and sent the family to package pickup to get their appliance. After they left, he went home. Meanwhile, the minimum wage package pickup people left at 3 mins to closing, without letting anyone know or actually checking to make sure no one was waiting there.

    Not saying its a good excuse, but I bet thats how it happened.

  25. quizmasterchris says:

    It seems like it would be pretty darn easy to go hide yourself somewhere and stay in a big box store overnight if you wanted to. If you stash yourself somewhere before it opens and pop out during store hrs you could likely leave before anyone knew you were there.

    Otherwise… how is this a story? If the family doesn’t have a cellphone, the store has landlines, right? They’ll be locked in for what, an hour at most? Indoors. With bathrooms. With chairs. Big whup…

    • erratapage says:

      @quizmasterchris: I don’t think someone trying to get something over on the Sears Man would call the cops to get themselves out of the store. Seems to me that it would be a very small price for larceny to get let out the next day.

    • HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

      @quizmasterchris: 1: It’s a problem because the guy was scheduled for hip surgery the next day.

      2: One hour? I wish I lived where you live. Around here, if you’re not bleeding, it’s 3 hours, minimum.

  26. johnnya2 says:

    If they were purchasing the product how come they weren’t with the sales person, or somebody else? I am guessing these aren’t the sharpest tools in the Craftsmen line. I hope the police charged these idiots for the cost of sending a police car to Sears because they cant leave a store at the announced time.

  27. frodo_35 says:

    chaching lawyer says wrongfull imprisionment

  28. DrGirlfriend says:

    A few months ago I almost got locked into an Old Navy. I was in the back of the store looking at stuff, then as i walk up up to the registers to pay, I notice it sure is empty all of a sudden. Then I see the gates were closed.

    The employees were making fun of me, but the idiots never made a PA announcement. I’d much rather get stuck inside a department store with comfy beds and such, rather than a smelly Old Navy.

    • trk182 says:

      @DrGirlfriend: You should have just kept “Shopping” taking stuff off shelves and putting it in a cart until they ask you to leave. Then tell them to have fun putting all the crap back.

  29. pegr says:

    Watch your subject/verb agreement. The family WAS locked in a Sears store, not WERE. “Family” is singular!

    (Noting that no blog post correcting anyone’s grammer can be made without making a grammatical error… ;)

  30. thewriteguy says:

    This has made me ask myself: If I had to be locked overnight in a big store, which one would I prefer? A mall doesn’t count.

    My answer: IKEA

  31. Corporate_guy says:

    Why were receipts checked? I highly doubt they were carrying all those items out the front door. I would also hope they returned the items after being forced to show ID and receipts to the police. You do not become a criminal because Sears locks you in the store.

  32. cubsd says:

    My Sears has glass doors. If someone locks me in their store and leaves, they are going to have a broken door.

  33. corinthos says:

    When I worked at Sears we had two ten year old kids try to hide in the store in the middle of a clothing rack. They had motion detectors somewhere in the store which caused the cops and a loss prevention guy and a manager to show up and find them.

    The kids were hiding in the store because they said they wanted to play gamecube. Good luck with that since the power was off. It made the local news.

  34. dantsea says:

    Bah, bush league.

    When I worked for a bank some years ago we (as in the bank, I wasn’t there that day!) locked an elderly customer in the safe deposit vault on a Friday night. The vault also contained inspection cubicles for customers, she was short and no one saw her in there so everything was secured at closing. Fortunately when the cleaning crew arrived in the middle of the night, someone just happened to look up at the monitor displaying the surveillance camera output and saw her. That was a result of poor customer service and sloppy procedure that could have endangered or even ended someone’s life.

    I’m not really sympathetic to Anthony’s bum hip preventing him from looking for an emergency exit. Okay, maybe a little sympathetic. However, let’s not forget that he somehow managed to make it from the parking lot, into the mall and comparison-shop for appliances all night. Where was his pain then? Or did it only show up when he talked to the reporter?

    I could also go off on a lengthy tangent on how people have replaced their brains with cell phones and instead of looking for an exit the first thing they did was open up the magic talking device and scream HALP ME HALP ME but I’ll save that for a post on my own blog. :)

    • erratapage says:

      @dantsea: Dude… he was having SURGERY the next day. He was probably more worried about missing the surgery than he was about some kind of pain issue. I know that I have surgery when the doctor suggests it, not when I subjectively feel like it.

      • dantsea says:

        @erratapage: I know the first thing I do when I’m scheduled to have surgery to correct painful, motion-limiting physical problems is roam around a huge shopping mall!

        • dweebster says:

          @dantsea: AH, but perhaps he was out to do some serious shopping at Sears the night before surgery BECAUSE it would make hip surgery so much less painful by comparison.

    • UnnBabble says:

      @dantsea: I work at a bank branch–in a case like this the woman would be stuck inside until Monday morning if the time-lock is properly set.

  35. kimshot says:

    How does a store this large close down this quickly? I’ve worked in retail stores before, and we never got out earlier than a half hour after official closing time. Normally it was an hour. Managers had to cash out registers, associates had to straighten shelves and just generally make sure the store looked good for the next day. Does Sears really just shut off the lights and send everyone home immediately?

  36. laserjobs says:

    Being locked in a Mannequin factory would be awesome, Sears not so much. Oh crap, did I just say that out loud?

  37. Blueskylaw says:

    Shopping while in pain? There is no one in the store but then the lights went out? They made the purcase but the store was closed? What happened to the cashier that just rang them out?

    There is something rotten in the state of Denmark.

  38. hypoxia says:

    Hm. Anyone ever see Bad Santa? Yeah.

    The Sears employees at that particular location aren’t too bright. I have a family member in very close contact with them on a daily basis. Oh, I so wish I could share the stories.

  39. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    Hey I got locked inside of a Forest Lawn one night. It was pretty cool.

  40. Linkdead says:

    They got off with a warning THIS time. Next time they better use their Sears card. With its low 28.5 percent over prime rate and competitive “never lock you in the store” rewards program.

  41. closed_account says:

    Fire exit?

  42. springboks says:

    Anthony, Crystal and Kathy don’t sound like the sharpest tools OR Anthony’s “hip surgury” can’t be that bad if he’s out appliance shopping.

    Stores usually give plenty of notice when they’re closing, they don’t want people locked in their store for the safety of their stuff and for your safety.

  43. erratapage says:

    You know… I’m having surgery in a couple weeks. Should I not be out appliance shopping? Hmmm….

  44. Zulujines says:

    I used to work at Sears, and I don’t know how anyone could miss the “We will be closing in fifteen minutes.” “We will be closing in ten minutes.” “We will be closing in five minutes.” “We are now closed.” People would just ignore the announcements, and those people deserve to be locked in the store.

    That’s actually happened at every retail store I’ve ever worked at, and it’s always the people making major purchases that want to shop at five minutes to close. I only wish I could have left them there and gone home!

  45. MrsLopsided says:

    The police checked their receipts. Not one but a few. So they shopped and loaded up with merchandise from different departments and then decided to impulse buy a dishwasher, stove, and fridge on the way out. LOL.

  46. MrsLopsided says:

    I just watched the video and it confirmed what I suspected about why they likely didn’t use the emergency exit and set off the alarm. They were Shopping While Black. I believe it’s relevant to how they were treated when ‘help’ arrived.

  47. larkknot says:

    My whole family got locked into the nature trail area at a museum once – in the days before cellphones. There was no posted closing time on the trail area, which was fenced in, and no kind of sign-in for it, so when we were done hiking and found the gate closed, we were stuck! My parents were getting ready to help once of us kids over the fence to go get help when an employee noticed us.

  48. biswalt says:

    Does anyone else think this is B.S.? I mean I think I’ve been able to see an exit everytime I’m at a checkout register in Sears. Secondly, what do you mean they made the purchase headed for the exit and then no one was there? I’ve worked big retail before it takes hours to close down a store the size of Sears, I’m sure, nore than enough time for people to trickle out. Finally at the end of the article it says Police checked their receipts and a representative of the company let them out, so obviously there was still someone to represent the store in the area. this whole story just sounds off to me. It used to take my store, about the size of a Sears about 3 hours a night to shut down after the last customer left. And I can’t imagine any customer not being noticed in that period unless they went way out of their way to not be seen . . . Or the guy with the bum hip moved so slowly that clerk mistook him for a mannequin.

    • pollyannacowgirl says:

      @biswalt:

      Yeah, the whole thing doesn’t make sense. And, as Judge Judy says, “If it doesn’t make sense it’s a lie.”

      Either we’re not getting the whole story or someone’s lying.

    • MEoip says:

      Police likely called the store rep and told him to get down to the store. I used to get calls all the time, the alarm would go off, the police would show up look around and call me to come check things out and take the ticket.

  49. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    These customers are complete idiots. There is no way to get trapped in a Sears, as all Sears stores have fire exits. It’s fire code. They must. I got locked in a Home Depot once, and the asshole manager told me he couldn’t let me out until they were finished pulling the money out of the self-checkout registers due to “company policy.” I said “oh really?” walked to the fire exit and viola! I was outside.

    And no, the police didn’t show up, because in most stand-alone stores (Home Depot, WalMart, etc.) the fire-door alarms aren’t connected to anything. Hell, they aren’t even connected to electricity, they’re battery powered. In a mall though, I’m sure they’re tied to the central security system. Regardless, leaving through a fire exit (especially when trapped inside) isn’t a crime.

    I blame the store for poor service (it IS Sears afterall), but I blame the customer for being “trapped” inside.

  50. bnelson333 says:

    I live by this store and this doesn’t surprise me. I was there recently, during normal business hours, and it was a ghost town. I don’t think I saw more than one employee in the whole store (and about as many customers).

  51. downwithmonstercable says:

    @downwithmonstercable: That’s the one, thanks!

  52. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    They’re lucky..they actually got to shop in peace without the usual compliment of sleazy salesmen in tow.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Ha, this is not the first time this has happened. I used to work for Sears at store 2180 (Traverse City, MI). It happened at least twice when I was employed there…

  54. arungupta says:

    Sears is screwed up. I recently bought some clothing items from them. I had a $15 VISA gift card. I asked the cashier to use that and charge the remaining balance to my AMEX. She refused saying that the gift cards do not work in their system. She even swiped the card to prove that it did not work.

    They also had a discount sale if I used my Sears MasterCard. I wasn’t carrying the cards with me. I asked the cashier to look up the card and she told me that all I had was Sears store card which was not eligible for discount. Never gave me the discount. I am never ever going to Sears again. They do not have much anyways.

    • econobiker says:

      @arungupta: Gift cards screw up due to the card refusing to work for amounts over the value of the card. Most clerks don’t have a clue about this problem. There should be a way to pay just the gift card amount and then the balance, but again, most clerks are clueless per how to even handle mixed transactions of credit and cash.

      The trick is to pay for all but the gift card amount and then have the clerk run the gift card.

      This problem also limits your use of the gift card to items costing less than the balance. My wife and I have a couple of card we need to flush out by using the grocery store self-serve line to buy the smallest packs of gum…

  55. Meathamper says:

    There was this guy who lived in IKEA for a week. Same guy who went to 171 Starbukses in 24 hours.

    [www.marklivesinikea.com]

  56. Haess says:

    Ive been in this particular Sears store many times… Given the ‘assistance’ Ive received there, this really doesnt surprise me one bit..

    Maplewood seems to be turning into a meth-neighborhood… Maybe the sales associate was in a hurry to get his next fix?

  57. XJSGUY says:

    She was trying to get rid of Anthony because
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    she liked Ken more.

  58. tamoko says:

    Any one remember the TV movie “On the Right Track” with Garry Coleman, circa 1981? He played this homless kid that lived INSIDE a few connected rentable storage lockers in Chicago’s Union Staion.

  59. West Coast Secessionist says:

    @biswalt: 3 hours? Wow. We were usually out of my store 25-30 minutes after the closing time on the door, including doing “recovery” (making everything look nice).

    Another larger store I worked at, (that sponsors a certain big parade this time of year), all the associates made a bee-line for the employee exit the moment the clock struck 9:30 (we were required to stay until then, but we just sat on the counter and goofed around for that half hour).

  60. West Coast Secessionist says:

    @aaron8301:

    Viola!

  61. Anonymous says:

    I’ve worked for Sears on commission in appliances, and these things do happen when we are trying to finish a sale. Partly to blame is Sears policy that sales staff can’t get a returning customer unless the customer asks for him/her. I’ve lost several high $ sales because of this policy. Also, partly the reps fault for not being more responsible for the customer who just added to his paycheck. Two of my personal stories: I made a big sale off of a tractor (not my sales department) because a customer was stuck at closing time and all of the lawn and garden sales people had left. Also, I had a customer call near closing to say they were on their way to buy something. I waited, and the customer showed up outside the door after everything was closed and locked. We ended up doing the sale by the customer sliding everything through the crack in the door. I was both responsible to the customer and thankful for the addition to my paycheck.

  62. christoj879 says:

    I don’t know why the salesperson left, but when I worked there the second the closing announcement was made, we were gone. The reason being that if we actually told customers we were closed, they would get pissed and ask to be rung up after we closed the registers and we weren’t staying. I know Sears has gotten worse but we did that because if we didn’t we wouldn’t leave until 10:00 PM.

    I’m guessing because of the hip surgery it took them 15 minutes to leave? I say this because the higher up personnel are usually there at least 15-30 minutes after the closing announcement.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Someone asked why didn’t their movement in the store set off alarms. Almost all retail stores don’t have motion sensing alarms, just perimeter alarms. Open the door, the alarm goes off; but move around in the store and you are OK. This is because in a large department store there are to many things (rodents, balloons, stacks of items falling over) that can happen in the middle of the night to trip a false alarm.

    The Sears near where I live is like this. You can run around inside the store all night long and not trigger any alarms. Yet the moment you open that door you have 20 seconds to enter the code to disarm the system.

  64. My Iron Lung is Rusted says:

    It’s a trap!

    /ackbar

  65. roblarosa says:

    Sounds like a miscommunication took place. I’m not sure how the clerk couldn’t have anticipated a problem with them exiting the store. But, maybe his mind was elsewhere. I think they’ll be laughing about this one at holiday gatherings.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Its like this, Americans have no manners, they as customers are high maintenance, they don’t take no for an answer and so probably they had been asked to leave but since Americans don’t listen, (they just talk real loud about themselves only) they probably didn’t hear or see the clerk begging them to leave at closing !

    It is also a keen illustration of the decline and fall of the American dollar by comparison to their obnoxious manners !

  67. Anonymous says:

    This would not have happened if this Sears followed company policy! I work at a Sears in Indiana, and what SHOULD happen is that if a customer is looking to buy something and the store is closing, the sales associate HAS to call up to the guest services desk and let them know. The store stays open, the customers are allowed to purchase their items, and the store doesn’t close until the customers are gone. It shouldn’t have happened, and it looks badly on the rest of us.

    • econobiker says:

      @LucilleIshamael:

      …”it looks badly on the rest of us”…

      Thanks for the company info but me thinks that this is the least of Sear’s problems there, LucilleIshamael…

  68. phallusu says:

    i think there is a huge piece of this story missing – as in self check or cashier?