CHIPPEWA FALLS — An auction will be Feb. 8 for all the fixtures, coolers and grocery equipment inside the Gordy’s Market location at Chippewa Falls Commons, which closed in August.
Grafe Auction, based in Spring Valley, Minn., is handling the auction, which will begin at 10 a.m. that day. The auction will be conducted both in person and online.
“It’s all the equipment you would expect to find in a grocery store,” said Grafe Auction marketing director John Schultz.
The ad on the company’s website says the building is “filled with quality food service equipment. The majority of the equipment was new in 2005 and a large portion of it was updated in 2014. You will find departments full of well-maintained prep equipment including meat, bakery, deli and produce equipment. Plus, you will find excellent store shelving and material handling equipment.”
Schultz said everything has been sorted into 574 individual lots to be auctioned off.
“Everything will sell, regardless of price, to the highest bidder,” Schultz said.
The company’s website is grafeauction.com. Schultz said by allowing bids online, it expands the number of buyers and generates more revenue.
“It allows them to participate, without regards to distance,” he said.
Buildings’ future unclear
At an auction in September, Illinois-based Hilco Global — a financial services holding company — had the top bid to purchase the 3310 E. Hamilton Ave. and 1031 W. Clairemont Ave. (Shopko Plaza) stores in Eau Claire, the Hayward store and the Chippewa Falls Commons store for $210,000.
However, the company believed the fixtures and equipment inside the stores were part of the sale, according to arguments made in court in recent months. Earlier this month, Hilco Global was allowed to back out of its auction price.
Schultz said he was aware of the Hilco Global sale falling through, but he added it didn’t stop them from moving forward with their auction for the store equipment.
“At this time, we’re under contract just for (auctioning off equipment) for the Chippewa Falls location,” he said.
It is unclear if anyone is actively marketing the two closed stores in Eau Claire, the Chippewa Falls building, the Hayward store or two other Gordy’s Market locations that weren’t sold in the September auction, located in Stanley and Richland Center.
Gordy’s Market acquired the aging 169,000-square-foot mall, located at 303 E. Prairie View Road, from Michigan-based Agree Realty Corporation in December 2014. The Schafer family, who own Gordy’s Market, invested about $3 million into renovating and re-opening a grocery store and purchasing new equipment.
The new Gordy’s grocery opened in summer 2015 after a significant facelift and renovation. It replaced the 45,592-square-foot Mega Foods, which closed in March 2012.
The company also went to work on refurbishing the mall and lining up new tenants.
In January 2015, the city approved creating a tax increment financing district to assist Gordy’s in their acquisition and renovation of the mall.
Gordy’s Market had 26 stores across western Wisconsin at mid-summer, but is now down to six, with the others either having been sold or closed when the company went through receivership.
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