If you're wondering how long the big going-out-of-business sale will last at Linens 'n Things, 351 Loucks Road, Manchester Township, the shelves should tell the story.

Richard Kaye, executive vice president of Hilco Merchant Resources, said the sale should last between six and 12 weeks, depending on how long it takes for the products and furnishings to get bought up.

The sale began Friday.

Hopefully, Kaye said, considering the sale is timed with the holiday gift-buying season, liquidation should take closer to the six-week part of the expected range.

Kaye said Hilco is part of a joint venture that purchased the right to sell off what's left of Linens 'n Things merchandise and related assets, valued at more than $1 billion at 371 stores in 48 states.

A Linens ’n Things exclusive collection in an undated photo. The remaining Linens ’n Things stores started liquidation sales after the home
A Linens 'n Things exclusive collection in an undated photo. The remaining Linens 'n Things stores started liquidation sales after the home goods retailer failed to find a buyer that will operate the company. A sign on the York County location said stores items are between 10 and 30 percent off. (Linens 'n Things)

The venture was high bidder in bankruptcy court proceedings earlier this year. Kaye said previous restructuring of Linens 'n Things did not work to make the franchise turn a profit, leading to bankruptcy.

Customers leaving the store Monday said they were surprised the store went under.

"I keep this place in business," said Donna Markey of West Manchester Township. Her boyfriend, with whom she said she recently bought

a house, nodded in agreement.

Markey said much of the house is furnished with items purchased at Linens 'n Things. She said she'll have to switch to a competitor to do her shopping now.

"Until they go out of business. The way the economy's going," Markey said.

Terry Kehm of Hellam Township pulled into a parking space near Linens 'n Things on Monday to shop at nearby Old Navy and PetSmart -- and was surprised to see the sale signs.

Kehm said she's in the store at least once per month and doesn't know where she will shop once it closes.

"That's a real good question," she said.

Hilco specializes in turning nonperforming assets of companies into cash. Kaye said the company does 50 to 60 percent of its business with companies that are staying in business but have individual stores or other assets to liquidate.

But it's become "quite busy" in the past year or two liquidating entire franchises.

Some other examples have included Sharper Image, Bombay and Mervyns, a West Coast department-store chain.

Kaye said Monday he did not immediately know how gift registries would be handled during the liquidation event.

A manager who answered the phone at the local Linens 'n Things on Monday forwarded questions to Hilco.

bburkey@ydr.com; 771-2035


What will be accepted:

---Linens 'n Things gift cards purchased before last Friday.

--- Returns on items purchased before last Friday.

--- Major credit cards and cash for purchases.

What will not be accepted:

--- Linens 'n Things coupons.

--- Personal checks for purchases.

--- Gift cards purchased last Friday or any day since then.