If you've been in Central Alabama for a while, you might remember shopping at Long's Electronics.
At one point, the locally-based company had 16 showrooms.
This past Friday, the final showroom at the company's warehouse in Irondale closed its doors to customers.
It's a sign of the times. Another piece of local retail history is gone.
"For the last 30 years, I've made my living liquidating businesses and doing estate auctions, and in the last couple of years, we've seen just a huge increase in businesses, especially mom-and-pop businesses that seem to be having a difficult time making it in this economy," said auctioneer Chip Pearce of Pearce & Associates.
Pearce has a huge task ahead of him. He has been tapped to auction off everything that remains in the showroom, the adjacent offices, the company's bookstore, and the 120,000 square-foot company warehouse.
Some of the items are electronics. But most of the items are business equipment ranging from warehouse supplies to shelving to the art supplies Long's used to make its catalogs.
"Whether you're a warehouse owner and need a forklift or whether you're Mom and Pop that have your own small business, and you need copier, we've got something for everybody in this auction," Pearce said.
In its final years, Long's focused primarily on supplying church and school-related electronic needs. So from boxed-up video projectors to thousands of books, everything that remains is available to the highest bidder.
Even a Buick Rendezvous, a couple other SUVs, and the company's delivery trucks will be sold.
"When I get through with this auction, we should be sitting here with a vacant building," Pearce said.
He added that the auction could largely appeal to other business owners.
"This creates a rare opportunity for them to buy outside of their distributor," Pearce said. "They may be able to buy in bulk here at an even lower rate than they would have been able to buy from their wholesaler."
The auction will be conducted online. Bidding is already underway at www.soldalabama.com. An on-site inspection will take place December 5th and 6th before the auction officially closes at 5:00 p.m. on the 6th.
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