Alco files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Alco files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Alco Stores Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it was reported by various financial and business news wires on Monday.

The company operates 198 discount general merchandise stores in 23 states, including a location at 1457 W. Main St. in Pawhuska. The local store opened not long after the west side location was abandoned by Walmart in the mid-1990s.

It is not immediately known what impact the bankruptcy proceedings are going to have on the local store, but the move potentially will place 3,000 jobs in jeopardy nationwide.

Brian Mares, store manager of the Pawhuska Alco, said Monday afternoon that he expects no drastic changes at the local business in the near future.

“For us, it will just be business as usual,” the manager said. “No liquidation sales or anything like.”

According to the bankruptcy filing made Sunday, the company plans to liquidate or sell the 113-year-old business.

Alco’s board of directors was recently replaced as the result of a proxy fight in which shareholders demanded better results.

In making the filing, the company pointed to the “lingering economic slowdown” on customers.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that while Alco seeks bankruptcy-court approval to move ahead with the liquidation, the company will also be pursuing a “going-concern sale that would preserve operations at some or all of the stores.”

Alco Chief Executive Stanley B. Latacha said in a court filing that potential buyers have been approached.