01/20/2015 09:14 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT

Target Canada's Liquidation Will Begin In 2-3 Weeks

Target Canada is telling customers to expect the liquidation of the U.S.-based chain's merchandise to begin sometime in early February.

The retail chain, which announced last week it would be shutting its 133 Canadian stores in the near future, has reached out to people on social media.

"We expect that the liquidation process will begin in approximately 2-3 weeks," the chain told multiple customers via Twitter.

But within four to five months, the chain's entire Canadian presence — including its distribution centres across the country — will be gone.

In the interim, the chain's U.S. owners will be moving quickly to offload the millions of dollars in merchandise and other goods, such as fixtures and office supplies.

According to CBC reporters on the ground, customers who showed up at Target stores this past weekend were greeted to full stores and lineups at checkout, but no discernable signs of heavily discounted merchandise that normally accompanies a liquidation process.

Target has more than 17,000 employees in Canada, and the chain says it has created a  trust fund of up to $70 million to address up to 16 weeks of pay for employees.    

But Lee Harbinson, an employee at the discount retailer's Pickering Town Centre location, says the 16-week figure isn't the same thing as severance, as many employees will still be working during those 16 weeks, as the discount chain winds down its operations.

Harbinson, who works part-time unloading trucks and stocking the clothing section, said he wasn't surprised by the news, as he had watched sales languish for the nearly two years he worked at the store.

"I'm not in panic mode just yet," Harbinson said. "I saw this coming from a mile away."

Earlier on HuffPost:

Photo gallery Target Canada's Empty Shelves See Gallery