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Abilene, Kan., retailer Alco Stores moving to Texas

Updated: 2013-04-11T04:44:50Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

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

The company will leave its Abilene, Kan., headquarters after more than 100 years for Coppell, Texas, 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.

“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, and would help the retailer attract and keep executives.

Alco Stores was founded in 1901 in Abilene, the childhood home of Texas-born President Dwight Eisenhower. The town of about 6,800 lies 156 miles west of Kansas City, Kan.

Abilene counts Alco as its 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 employs about 3,700 across 23 states, according to its latest annual report.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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