|ALCO to close its doors|
|Saturday, June 08, 2013 12:05 AM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Operations Group Manager Diana Mullen, who has been with ALCO 16 years, said that employees came into work for a meeting on Thursday and found the district manager and the loss prevention employee in attendance.
“We were told the lease was up and that the landlord would not renew it,” Mullen explained. “We were all in a state of shock.”
The closing will eliminate approximately 15 full- and part-time positions. Just recently, the Delphos store manager Terri Granzow, completed closing the Vermillion store. In addition, the store in North Manchester closed this year also.
Mullen has spent more than 30 years in the retail building formerly inhabited by Val Corp.
“I’m upset with it closing and for the town’s loss,” Mullen stated. “It will be September before the store will be completely closed.”
ALCO Marketing Department employee Shirley Ryff said that the [Delphos] store was a good store and it was making money. She expressed information she received from the Delphos ALCO store manager Granzow, who was not available for an interview.
“There was trouble with the landlord,” Ryff explained. “It is a leaky building and the lease payments continued to increase.”
Ryff said that at this time, there has been no indication that the company will look into leasing another building to re-open in the Delphos vicinity.
“Usually when we close down a store, we don’t go back and re-open another store,” Ryff said.
The Reichle Klein Group manages the property and when contacted, would not comment on the store closing.
ALCO Store Inc’s. annual report released on April 23, 2013, showed that during fiscal year 2014, the company expects to open no less than five stores and is currently in process of closing four stores. During fiscal year 2013, the company opened five additional stores and closed four stores, resulting in a year-end total of 217 stores. The company’s strategy for store development is to increase sales and profitability at existing stores by refining the merchandising mix and improving operating efficiencies.
In fiscal year 2013, the company saw these operating results; sales increased to $496 million or 3.5%; same-store sales decreased 1.0%; net earnings were $1.7 million or $0.48 per share, compared to last year’s adjusted earnings of $0.21 per share; and adjusted SG&A expense was 27.2% of sales, a slight improvement over last year’s 27.4%.
ALCO Stores Inc., formerly known as Duckwall-ALCO, purchased the 14 discount stores owned Val Corp. of New Castle, Ind., in early 1997 and opened the Delphos store on April 22, 1997. The new store featured many of the same offerings that Val stocked, but a better mix of merchandise.