|ALCO shoppers share memories|
|Friday, June 21, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY STACY TAFF
DELPHOS — ALCO shoppers were greeted Monday by a “Closing Sale” sign draped across the entrance, adding greater substance to the news the retailer will no longer be around come September.
For a little over 16 years, ALCO has provided daily necessities and employment opportunity within easy driving or walking distance to the Delphos community. The store currently supports 15 employees and provides everything from clothing, toys and sports equipment to food and home decor. The reasons given for ALCO closing its doors are an increase in lease payments, a refusal by the landlord to renew the lease or make building repairs and just general strain from the state of the economy on ALCO Stores, Inc. No matter the reasons for the closure, the Delphos community will feel the loss.
Local ALCO shoppers took some time to share favorite memories.
“Being a former employee, I saw first-hand just how many customers used ALCO as their ‘go-to’ store; they wouldn’t even think of going out of town for something. Yes, there are a few other stores but ALCO was one of those stores where you could find something you couldn’t find anywhere else. Numerous times I found myself checking there for a hard-to- find item and there it was. I’ll miss the small-town friendliness of the store and wish they would just move to a different location in Delphos but unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen.”
— Brittany Tucker
“I think it’s really going to hurt Delphos, especially the elderly because some of them don’t feel comfortable driving out of town to get their necessities. Sometimes, you were able to find things at ALCO that the dollar stores did not offer.”
— Sarah Brinkman
“I will miss the Cutest Baby Contest. My daughter was the winner when she was a baby.”
— Maureen Teman
“Well, I don’t live in Delphos anymore but ALCO was my first job. I got hired at 16 and worked there for three years. It helped me afford many things and taught me work ethic, customer service and all the basics of earning my own money. I know so many people that learned the same things there since it was their job, too. I think it’s sad that Delphos is losing a place where teenagers and adults could earn a living; maybe not a huge income but still, I’m sad to see it go.”
— Kelly Hauter
“I remember when it was Vals back in the day. It’s gonna be crappy if you need a certain something they carried, and could get it there rather than driving to Lima.”
— Brandon Siefker
“I remember finding The Muppet Family Christmas special there on video and DVD. I bought it for mom and made her Christmas. It’s was very hard to find the old Christmas special.”
— Anne Whitaker
“When I heard the news of the store closing, I was devastated. I shopped at ALCO for anything and everything. I never left empty-handed. The location of the store was so convenient. The motto for Delphos is America’s Friendliest City and it always seemed like the staff kept that motto in mind when they worked there. I have never went to ALCO and had a problem. We are a small community and everyone knows each other and is always there to help one another. I will definitely miss the small town feel of a store whenever I shop now.”
— Cassie Lindeman
“I don’t live in Delphos anymore but ALCO definitely holds memories. My grandfather bought a stuffed fish there that stayed in our family for years. It was very convenient to know you could stop and get something you needed without going to Lima. They always had unique items.”
— Bridgette Bonifas
“I will definitely miss ALCO. After working there for five years, I had developed great relationships with most of the staff, many of whom are still employed there. Also, ALCO had been very supportive with all of my business and shopping for various events associated with Canal Days and the Canal Days Pageant. As far as my job at Sarah Jane Living Center, it will certainly make things more difficult, as I will have to travel out of town in order to purchase supplies for my activities, which will take away from time that I will be able to spend with my residents. The closing of the ALCO store will definitely impact our entire community; many people may not realize it yet but whether they shop there or not, the benefits from a home-town business like that trickle down to everyone.”
— Kim Ousley