Public online auction slated for closed Waterworks Walmart

Dec. 31—A public, online auction will be held next week for the remaining contents of the former Walmart in The Waterworks shopping plaza near Aspinwall.

The store closed in November , citing underperforming sales, according to Felicia McCranie, Walmart's North and East communications director.

The public can view and inspect hundreds of items inside the store from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday .

"The preview is where people can come and look at the items the day prior," said Judd Grafe, president and CEO at Minnesota-based Grafe Auction Co., which is handling the auction.

The online auction will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Only a few of the items are general merchandise. Items available for online bidding include retail store displays, basketball hoops, shelving, office equipment, folding tables, metal cabinets, metal racks, metal swing gates, signs, racks, pallet racking, chairs, a forklift, a cardboard baler and more.

All items can be purchased online only. They are subject to an online premium of 18% and 7% sales tax.

"We always think it's nice when businesses decide to move or close that they allow other businesses in the community to take advantage of this transition by bidding on items and having access to those items. Many good things can come out of this closure," Grafe said.

The 80,000-square-foot store at 877 Freeport Road opened in 2003 and was formerly occupied by an Ames department store.

The Waterworks mall is managed by J.J. Gumberg Co. of Pittsburgh.

Auction items are sold "as-is" and have a lot number attached.

The lot numbers are auctioned off in numerical order. Grafe sells at an average pace of 75 lots per hour.

To register for an online bidding account, visit the account registration page before the auction.

Information needed to create an account includes your name, email address, password and basic contact information.

Winning bidders will receive an email containing an invoice.

Payment must be made by credit card by noon Wednesday and no auctioned item may be removed until fully paid.

Customers may remove their winning items by appointment from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 4 through Jan. 9.

Representatives from J.J. Gumberg did not respond to several requests for comment.

Grafe Auction was founded in 1959 and last year handled more than 400 auctions at closed businesses nationwide, Grafe said.

For more information, contact Judd Grafe at 507-254-1184.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce by email at or via Twitter .