ALCO to close in August

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Many area residents were shocked to learn that ALCO, a long-time retailer in the Highland Square, is to be closed in August by its corporate owners. Residents have voiced their disbelief that the store is being closed because it is unprofitable. Regular shoppers and employees believe the store is profitable because of faithful customers.

Long time manager Mark Huescher left the company for a job with First National Banking Company last year. New manager Dustin Moore, who relocated to the area from Memphis, will be given an opportunity to transfer to another store, but said he loved the area, and this is where he and his family wanted to be.

Due to company policy, Moore could not comment on the store closing, and employees were also asked not to make public comments. One employee said she was very disappointed in the closing because she had just been able to get insurance. She said she wanted to talk because she was headed to the unemployment office in August, but was advised by her manager not to.

On a recent visit, there were many customers in the store looking for going-out-of business bargains, while others were there to support the store. Jill Finn said she has shopped for years at ALCO. "I come here because I want to keep this store going. I don't want Walmart to put all these little stores out of business." Finn said she likes the convenience and being able to shop nearby without going through a huge store to pick up items. Finn added she believes the store sells a high quality of merchandise, and losing ALCO will have a big impact on the city of Highland.

The store closing was officially announced by Ricardo Clemente, Senior Vice-President of Store operations. "The decision to close the store in Hardy was a difficult one. We have valued the opportunity to be a part of this community, but unfortunately the store's performance does not meet our financial requirements. The economy has clearly had an impact on store sales, and we've made the very difficult decision to close." Clemente said employees of the Hardy store will have the opportunity to be considered for positions at other ALCO stores, although there are no other ALCO stores in this region.

Beginning Monday, June 17, the store will mark down prices on many items prior to its closing date, which is anticipated to be by August 26.

Clemente added, "This is never an easy decision to make, and we know it will have an impact on the Hardy community. We wish to express our thanks to the many friends that we have served over the past several years and also thank the employees who have served our company faithfully during that time."

The space ALCO has operated in for years, first opened as a Magic Mart in the 1970s. ALCO Stores, Inc. was founded in 1901 in Abilene, Kan., and has been in continuous operation since that time. The company currently operates more than 200 stores across 23 states.

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