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Alco creditors begin liquidation.

COPPELL, Texas -- Liquidation sales began at Alco Stores Inc. properties in mid-November after the retailer's creditors were granted authority to sell off its merchandise, fixtures and equipment. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas also OK'd sale of assets from the company's 352,000-square-foot distribution center in Abilene, Kan. The company last year moved its headquarters to Texas from Abilene.

Alco in October had sought protection under the nation's bankruptcy laws as it reorganized its business. But the court authorized creditors--Tiger Capital Group, SB Capital Group and Great American Group--to close the stores and sell the assets.

The company, founded in 1901, grew to operate 198 stores in 23 states--Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The stores, averaging about 25,000 square feet in size, sold general merchandise, including home furnishings, sporting goods, apparel and outdoor products. Most of the stores were in towns so small that they were not served by national chains such as Walmart.

Alco said sales declined 2% to $474 million in its latest fiscal year, citing the sluggish economic recovery, stagnant wages and drought-related woes in some of the agricultural communities that the company served. Store traffic had diminished, Alco executives said, and those who were shopping were spending less, especially on discretionary items. Alco also cited increased competition from dollar stores, specialty chains and the Internet.

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Title Annotation:NEWS; Alco Stores Inc
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Jan 12, 2015
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