It’s no secret that 2020 has been a rough year for retail chains and restaurants.
Prolonged closures due to the coronavirus pandemic have left many companies with virtually no revenue for months, and retailers that were already struggling have found themselves closing stores and/or going out of business.
While liquidation sales can be an incredible way to get unreal prices on never-discounted items, you can make the sales even more legendary by purchasing discounted gift cards to these bankrupt chains.
Just make sure you redeem them before the companies go out of business entirely.
Here are 13+ stores that have declared bankruptcy or liquidation, whose gift cards you should buy now:
First: What do you do if you have a gift card from a store that’s closed?
Hopefully you don’t find out about a retailer’s permanent closure after it’s already happened, because your options are few.
Once a company files bankruptcy, all unsecured debt — which gift cards are a part of — gets cancelled. But in some cases, like when Radio Shack shut down some years back, the stores offer refunds up to a certain point after stores close. So it’s worth visiting the store’s website to see what their policy is.
If you bought the gift card with a credit card, contact your credit card company. You may qualify for a refund under consumer protection laws. And certain states require a refund, too.
Although businesses can reemerge from bankruptcy, there aren’t any guarantees that they’ll accept your old gift cards when they do. Toys “R” Us and Pier 1 are back in business after liquidation and bankruptcy, but they aren’t accepting old gift cards.
1. Express gift cards: Up to 14% off
Express has already started closing 31 stores this year, and is planning to shutter another 35 by next January. There will be sales galore as stores close, but a discounted Express gift card will make your liquidation sale dollars go further.
There are tons of gift cards available for 14% cheaper than the total loaded onto the card. That’s one of the best discounts we’re seeing right now.
2. Gap gift cards: Up to 11% off
Gap is closing up to 230 stores by February of 2021, and that will bring big closing sales of up to 80% off at those stores. They haven’t announced which stores are closing yet, but you could arm yourself with some high-value gift cards so you can pounce when the time is right.
Raise has Gap gift cards of up to 11% off the value of the card, but because they’re part of the same company, you could buy an Old Navy gift card or a Banana Republic gift card for about 11% off, or an Athleta gift card for nearly 10% off. You have options.
3. Forever 21 gift cards: 5% off
Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy last fall and announced 178 store closures. Then, the company sold, the pandemic hit, and now the new owners are quietly closing stores.
There hasn’t been an announcement yet as to how many stores will close, but check in with your local store to see if a Forever 21 gift card would do you good. We’ve seen them discounted as much as 12% from time to time.
4. Tuesday Morning gift cards: Up to 5% off
Tuesday Morning is planning to close 230 of their nearly 700 stores after filing for bankruptcy in May. Raise has a bunch of gift cards, many that cost 3-5% less than the value of the card. For example, a $319 gift card costs just $303.
5. Bath & Body Works gift cards: Get 4% off
Bath & Body Works is closing 51 stores, but that’s nowhere near the 250 stores sister retailer Victoria’s Secret will be closing this year.
While you’ll probably have no trouble spending a B&BW gift card that costs 4% less than the value on the card at Bath & Body Works, don’t buy one thinking you’ll spend it at Victoria’s Secret; the two stores’ cards aren’t interchangeable.
6. Macy’s gift cards: 3.5% off
Although Macy’s has already rebounded well after closing all of their stores during the pandemic, they’re planning to shut down 125 mall stores permanently within three years.
Those Macy’s locations will have some good closeout sales, and you’ll want to be ready with a discounted Macy’s gift card from Raise, paying 3.5% less than the value of the card.
7. Office Depot & Office Max gift cards: Get 3.5% off
Office Depot and their sister company Office Max are closing 90 more locations, at least, by 2021. The pandemic has created a new remote workplace revolution, so as these stores close, take an extra 3.5% off the sale prices of home office equipment with discounted gift cards.
8. Chico’s companies gift cards: 3% off
Chico’s and their sister retail chains White House Black Market and Soma, will be closing 200 stores in the coming months.
Those closing sales will bring big discounts already, but take off an additional 3% by purchasing a discounted Chico’s gift card at Raise. You could also save 10.7% with a White House Black Market gift card, and around 5% with a Soma gift card.
Important: Although these are sister companies, you can’t use these gift cards interchangeably like you can at the Gap Inc. stores.
9. GameStop gift cards: Around 3% off
GameStop is closing at least 320 stores, and Raise.com has a ton of discounted GameStop gift cards for 3% less than the value of the card.
10. Sears gift cards: Around 3% off
Another 51 Sears stores will be closing this year, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that closures equal liquidation sales. Raise has both Sears and Kmart gift cards that cost just a little less than they’re worth — 3% savings — but every little bit helps.
11. Bed Bath & Beyond: Around 2% off
You won’t get a huge discount by buying Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards on Raise right now, but hey, 2% off is 2% off.
It’ll feel good to spend just a little less when you’re shopping at a closeout sale of one of the 44 Bed Bath & Beyond locations closing this year.
12. JCPenney gift cards: 2% off
These JCPenney gift cards go quickly at Raise; we saw 10% off cards come and go, and discounts are closer to 2% right now, but every little bit helps — especially when you’re using them to shop the upcoming liquidation sales at 154 stores that’ll be closing by the end of 2020.
Save with discounted gift cards, and then check the Complete List of JCPenney Stores Closing & Facing Liquidation to plan your unbeatable retail haul.
13. Christopher & Banks gift cards: 1% off
By the end of 2020, 30-40 Christopher & Banks women’s apparel department stores will close for good, bringing liquidation sales.
A $50 gift card is available for $49.37 at Raise.com; not a huge discount, but why pay full price for Christopher & Banks gift cards?
Keep tabs on other stores’ gift cards.
The following stores have announced 2020 closures, but have limited gift card inventory available on Raise.com (check back to see if any cards appear, and snatch them up quickly if they do):
- AC Moore
- Art Van Furniture
- Destination Maternity
- Earth Fare
- Goody’s (limited availability, but 15% off)
- Modell’s Sporting Goods
- Neiman Marcus
- Olympia Sports
- Victoria’s Secret
Don’t count out restaurants, either.
We’ve shared about the unfortunate restaurant closings that have taken place. If your favorite restaurant isn’t reopening — like Souplantation — well, you’re out of luck when it comes to gift cards.
But if a number of stores are closing and the company is staying in business, patrons who’ve lost their neighborhood location will be looking to offload any gift cards they wouldn’t be able to use anymore.
It’s already happening. We’re finding these gift card deals with restaurants facing closures:
- Bravo Cucina Italiana: 32% off
- Steak ‘n Shake: 21.5% off
- Ruby Tuesday: 20.7% off
- Fuddruckers: 16% off
- IHOP: 14.5% off
- TGI Friday’s: 11.7% off
- Pizza Hut: 7% off