BRISTOL - Graffe Auction held a â€śsimulcastâ€ť live and in-person auction Thursday, inviting business owners to bid on shelving, refrigerator units and other items to clear out the former Walmart Neighborhood Market on Oakland Street.
Paul McCartan, a manager with Graffe Auction, explained that his company was hired by Walmart to conduct the auction. Approximately 80 items will be sold per hour.
â€śEverything sells,â€ť he said. â€śWeâ€™ll be running this auction all day and within a week-and-a-half this store will be empty.â€ť
McCartan said people had been invited to come in to the former Walmart Neighborhood Market location Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. to get a sneak peak at some of the items available. They included 2013 Hussman and Hillphoenix refrigeration units, black store shelving, Bizerba, True, Rational and Revent brand meat, deli and bakery equipment, Crown Tonka walk-in freezers, ovens and more.
â€śThis is a great opportunity for local businesses to get equipment that they need,â€ť said McCartan. â€śThis store is five years old, which means that the equipment is pretty new. We recently held an auction in Virginia where we were selling 10-year-old equipment, which is still pretty good. A refrigerator from that auction might have gone for $450 to $500. Something from five years ago, it might be more like $500 to $1,000. A piece of equipment that might normally cost a business owner, say, $3,000 they could get for half that.â€ť
John Burton, owner of Master G Cash and Carry of Berlin, said he was looking to get new shelving.
â€śI live in Massachusetts but I saw online that they were having this auction,â€ť he said. â€śIt was a good opportunity and it was local. This is my first time coming to something like this. Iâ€™m hoping to get some nice shelves for a good value.â€ť
Sam Bader, manager of Bargain Mart of Manchester, said he was looking to pick up some islands and shopping baskets for his discount store and possibly some shelves.
â€śI have been living for two months in the States,â€ť said Bader. â€śI just moved here from the Middle East where I used to run similar stores to Walmart. This is my first time to an auction like this and it seems like a good opportunity to get equipment that we need. We have a store that is approximately 10,000 square feet.â€ť
Sammy Vasile, who co-owns South Side Market in Bristol with two partners, said he is hoping to add some additional freezer space to the market.
â€śThis seemed like a good chance for us to upgrade,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™ll look around and see if we can get something for a reasonable price. You never know unless you look.â€ť
Vasile said the Walmart Neighborhood Market closed in August of 2017. Before that, it was a Shawâ€™s from 1996 to 2005.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.