Raymondville Walmart location to auction off inventory

RAYMONDVILLE — For sale — walk-in coolers, electric shopping carts, an entire pharmacy along with a complete supermarket, clothing store and automotive department.

Raymondville’s Walmart is going on the auction block — at least everything that’s left inside the building that housed the Supercenter that closed Jan. 29.

Judd Grafe said he is working with Walmart to auction the store’s equipment on Thursday.

But tomorrow the company will auction equipment left behind in Walmart’s Brownsville Supercenter that closed on Padre Island Highway.

In Raymondville, the store’s equipment goes on the block at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, with inspection set for 10 a.m. tomorrow.

“This new in 2005 complete Walmart Neighborhood Market is loaded with refrigeration, departmental equipment, material handling, a full automotive center, over 200 sections of pallet racking and much more — all selling to you no matter what the price!” Grafe Auction wrote.

Grafe said his auction likely wouldn’t attract regular Walmart customers.

“Generally businesses — buyers from different demographics,” Grafe said. “We’re not selling everyday inventory.”

Instead, these buyers know the retail business.

Bakers, Grafe said, might come to buy bakery inventory.

“People who buy fixtures would use fixtures,” he said.

The store’s shell is not on the auction block.

But Raymondville City Manager Eleazar Garcia said officials are working to draw prospective businesses to the store off Interstate 69.

“We want to get jobs for our people,” Garcia said. “It’s extremely important to bring economic development to our city.”

Raymondville’s Walmart, one of the city’s biggest retailers, closed Jan. 29, laying off 149 employees.

Officials project Walmart’s closing will cost the city about $50,000 a year in lost sales tax revenue.

The city’s sales tax collection dropped from $139,458 in January to $103,695 in February, state figures show.

Along with Raymondville’s store, Walmart closed 268 of its least profitable stores in the United States and Latin America, including the Brownsville store on Padre Island Highway.

News of the Raymondville store’s closing came 10 months after the Willacy County Correctional Center shut down, laying off 400 employees.

The prison’s closure plunged Willacy County into a financial crisis, slashing a third of the county’s $8.1 million general fund budget.

In Raymondville, the 3,000-bed prison’s closure cut the city’s annual water revenues by about $600,000.