Closing of Fraser Alco store leaves questions
The windows of the Alco Store in Fraser have populated with sale signs announcing the store’s imminent closing, but store officials are staying mum about when exactly that will happen.
Manager Zach Carlson confirmed on Monday, Nov. 24, that the store was slated to close, though he said he didn’t know when.
“We don’t really know a whole lot, unfortunately,” Carlson said.
Carlson said he was unsure approximately how many people were employed at Alco’s Fraser location, but guessed around 12.
On Tuesday, Nov. 25, another manager referred a Sky-Hi News reporter to the Alco Corporate Office for all questions.
The reporter was directed to a full voice mailbox.
Repeated inquiries to Alco since the company declared bankruptcy last month have gone unanswered.
Though Alco has been quiet on the subject, rumors have abounded in Grand County, including some speculation that the empty space would be turned into some sort of marijuana facility.
However, Fraser Mayor Peggy Smith quashed the rumor, stating that Fraser does not allow grow operations within city limits.
The town is currently not involved in courting any new tenants for the building, Smith said.
“Obviously we’re concerned,” Smith said. “We’d love to find another tenant to replace Alco.”
store to be missed
The closing of Alco has been especially troubling for residents because of the dearth of similar department-like stores in the area.
Fraser resident Kyle Robinson said he’s been shopping at Alco for seven years, buying random supplies for his home and work.
“Honestly, I’ll probably shop at Ace Hardware more often,” Robinson said. He said Radio Shack and online shopping would probably supplant his need for Alco, and that he didn’t think he’d be traveling to Denver more often.
Todd Monday, of Granby, said he would also try to find what he needs in Grand County, though he was disappointed about the closing.
“It’s going to suck because I use this store a lot,” Monday said. “But it is what it is.”
Trouble for the discount general merchandise retailer first became apparent in October, when Alco Stores Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
According to a news release from the company on Friday, Nov. 21, the federal bankruptcy court “approved an order yesterday authorizing Tiger Capital Group LLC, SB Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC to conduct Going Out Of Business sales in each of Alcos 198 locations in 23 states, including 23 in Kansas.”
Founded in 1901 in Abilene, Kan., Alco operates 198 stores in 23 states.
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