Abilene retailer ALCO Stores moving to Texas

04/10/2013 12:37 PM

04/10/2013 12:38 PM

Retailer ALCO Stores Inc., which targets smaller communities with limited access to big chains, says it needs a big city itself.

The company will leave its Abilene headquarters after more than 100 years for a suburb of Dallas.

ALCO, formerly called Duckwall ALCO, is the second Kansas company in four months to say its headquarters is moving to Texas.

Layne Christensen Co. said last December that it would move its Mission Woods headquarters to a Houston suburb after 88 years here.

ALCO Stores, founded in Abilene in 1901, has chosen Dallas suburb Coppell, Texas.

“Today’s challenging business climate and highly competitive retail landscape require that we locate our headquarters in a metropolitan center,” ALCO chief executive Rich Wilson said in a company announcement. “The Dallas location provides easy access to many of our stores, other major retailers and transportation for our employees and business partners.”

Wilson said the Dallas-area headquarters would be more accessible for vendors that supply ALCO, a “critical” factor in the company’s plans. It also would help the retailer attract and keep executives, he said.

Abilene, the childhood home of Texas-born President Dwight Eisenhower, lies 156 miles west of Kansas City, Kan.

The community of about 6,800 counts ALCO as the city’s second largest employer, behind the Russell Stover Candies factory.

ALCO says it employs 320 there, including at a distribution center and one of its more than 200 stores. Both will remain open after its central offices move in June. ALCO’s total employment across 23 states is about 3,700, according to its most recent annual report.

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