In Adam Sandler’s 2008 masterpiece, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, the actor is offered a job at an electronics store called “Going Out of Business.” This is a shady operation that constantly makes false claims about products and rips people off. Sandler was mocking a real phenomenon–the liquidation companies named “going out of business” or “total liquidation sale.” The Journal has a fun article on the issue today, focusing on a rug salesman who has settled down in Texas for a permanent going out of business sale. Barry Newman reports:
Many localities do have rules against such claims. New York City asks stores to get licenses for angst-inspired specials, from “fire sale” to “lost our lease.” Texas asks the same. But with blowouts on every corner, there’s been no burst in enforcement. Texas has issued 49 such licenses since 2001 — and prosecuted one used-car dealer in Austin.