ApplianceSmart recently closed three of its five Minnesota stores in Apple Valley, St. Paul and Rochester. The Champlin and Maplewood stores remain open.
Early in the week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported that all five stores would close within the next 60 to 90 days and 55 employees would lose their jobs.
However, employees who answered ApplianceSmart store phones in Champlin and Maplewood on Friday said there is no plan to close the two remaining locations in Minnesota. Calls to a supervisor were not returned.
The website still lists five stores in Minnesota, three stores in Georgia and one in San Antonio. On Friday, calls were answered only in the Champlin, Maplewood and San Antonio stores.
At the company’s peak, it had more than 20 stores nationwide, including nine stores in the Twin Cities. But many competitors selling appliance closeouts and overstocks joined in, including hardware store chains and in the Twin Cities, MN Home Outlets.
ApplianceSmart offers liquidation pricing due to its models being previous season models, overstocks, closeouts, open-box, imperfects and special buys.
It was once owned by Appliance Recycling, formerly of St. Louis Park and Hopkins, and was sold in 2018 to Live Ventures of Las Vegas.
Despite the diminishing number of stores, Live Ventures’ CFO Virland Johnson said in the second-quarter earnings report in May, “We believe ApplianceSmart has turned the corner, and we expect a full recovery in our third fiscal quarter.”
Appliance Recycling was founded in 1976 by Jack Cameron.
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633