After 85 years, Allegan's dime store will close doors
After 85 years, the City of Allegan will no longer have a downtown five and dime store.
Located at the corner of Locust and Trowbridge streets, Springrove Variety store is going out of business.
Roland B. Huff started the business as Huff’s 5 cents to $1 store in 1933. Huff’s son Dick and his wife Beverly then took over the business and their daughter Lynette Huff is the third generation to operate the store. She has been working there full-time since college for the past 40-years and has worked in the family business on and off since she was 9 years old.
Huff said the business was sold to Springrove Variety in 2004; however, the Huff family still owns the building.
“It will either be sold or rented—it won’t stay empty,” Huff said.
The family-owned Springrove Variety also has stores in Lowell, Owosso, Marysville and Wyoming. Springgrove Variety in Greenville closed its doors a few years ago. Liquidation sales will start Feb. 5 in Allegan.
“It’s unfortunate we had to do that but sales were just not where they should be,” said Springrove owner Mike Springer. “It used to be that every town had a dime store and it was our passion to keep some of those going but the small town variety niche is now a dinosaur and can’t compete with the likes of Meijer, Wal-mart or other big stores.”
Springer said Springrove took over Huff’s dime store 13 years ago when it was considering going out of business.
“We kept it going for 13 years and tried all different ways to get sales up,” he said. “The hardest part is the loss to employees and the loss to the town—bigger is not always better.”
Allegan’s Springrove Variety has five employees, another of which has worked there for 32 years.
“We’re just devastated,” Huff said. “We just can’t compete with big box stores.”
Allegan city manager Joel Dye said he was also devastated by the news.
“Lyn has been a very active and supportive proponent of downtown Allegan,” he said. “Upon hearing the news from Lyn, I mentioned to her that I regularly receive interest from developers and prospective store owners about moving to downtown Allegan and that if she is interested, I will gladly set up meetings to help ensure that this important building doesn’t remain vacant.”
Springer said liquidation sales will start at 20 percent off, and depending how sales go, will close it doors later in March.
Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (269) 673-5534.