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Shoppers shocked at empty Expert stores

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Shoppers shocked at empty Expert stores
14:03 CEST+02:00
Bargain hunters who queued outside stores of the recently bankrupted Swedish home electronics chain Expert were left disappointed as the shelves were found to be empty long before any of the customers entered.

Shoppers at one Stockholm outlet in Fältöversten were reeling after finding that hardly anything was left when they entered the store on Friday morning.

"They had emptied the whole lot, there were just a few demo products, some washing machines and four televisions left," said Tomas Gedal to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“It feels like a trick, I wonder if they're actually allowed to do this.”

However, staff at Expert explained that their stock was being liquidated as early as two weeks before the company filed for bankruptcy.

“We're only selling what we have in stock, if it's just demo examples of a certain model that we have left, then that's what we're selling,” store head Martin Dahl told the paper.

Meanwhile in Kista, northern Stockholm, violence broke out among the more than 1,000 would-be customers who had crowded outside the shop in hopes of snagging discounted items. Several police officers were called in to quell the situation.

Expert's bankruptcy directly affects 817 employees at the company's Swedish head office and in 73 of the company-owned stores. The Swedish franchise-owners are not included in the bankruptcy but are indirectly affected by the process.

Expert Sweden AB has 136 stores across the country, of which 73 are owned by the company and 63 by owned by franchisers. The company is one of the largest retailers on the market and has an annual turnover of 2.8 billion kronor ($428 million).

In July 2011, home electronics retailer ONOFF went bankrupt, citing stiff competition, price pressure, and low profits.

TT/The Local/og

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