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Alpine Shop owners close Illinois store

One less location will allow the Hollenbecks to focus on their other four stores in Kansas and Missouri.

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With the closure of Alpine Shop’s only Illinois location, owners Lisa and Russell “Holly” Hollenbeck say the good far outweighs the bad.

“Our entire focus will be on growing and expanding and not, ‘What happened to O’Fallon?’” said Lisa Hollenbeck. “It’ll free up cash to do improvements in the other stores. We’re basically going to take most of the capital improvemets over there — wall lighting, customer cash wraps and a beautiful antique showcase that I found — and use it as a basis for remodeling in our other stores.”

Alpine Shop's Columbia, Missouri location.
Alpine Shop’s Columbia, Missouri location.Courtesy

After more than five years of declining sales along with a lease up for renewal at the end of April, the Hollenbeck’s decided it was time to move on from focusing their attention on how to make the O’Fallon, Illinois store successful. It is the first time in the company’s 44 years they are closing a store with no immediate plans to relocate in the same area.

Alpine Shop also has storefronts in Kirkwood, Chesterfield and Columbia, Missouri, and Manhattan, Kansas.

“The most important thing that I want to say is that this is about our corporate vision, written by a team of our staff,” said Russell “Holly” Hollenbeck.“What they came up with for the vision is, ‘Generations transformed by discovery outdoors.’ We think that closing the store and taking those resources to the other stores will help us better pursue our mission and our vision.”

Starting Wednesday, Alpine Shop will liquidate the entire inventory — apparel, and climbing, camping, cycling and paddling gear — at its 1855 West U.S. Highway 50 store in O’Fallon. All spring 2018 clothing and outerwear prices will be marked down at least 20 percent off with discounts of 30 to 50 percent in place for previous seasons’ merchandise. They are also extending discounts to the other four stores next week.  

The Hollenbeck’s are tapering operations at the Illinois store. Lisa Hollenbeck said they told their O’Fallon employees last week, and she’s happy to report that out of their 80 total employees, none are leaving. She said those from O’Fallon will take on positions at other stores.

“Our people are so important to us,” Lisa Hollenbeck said. “I was in their store three weeks ago and I knew that we were going to close the store and I couldn’t tell them yet. They were telling me all about their visions and goals. It was all I could do to not start crying. Now, they’ll be able to implement those goals at the other locations.”