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King’s Store In American Falls Closes

King’s department store in American Falls will close its doors after business Wednesday.

Store manager Ben Richards said corporate leaders made the decision to close based on financial considerations. The company will concentrate on a new Middleton facility.

The closure will displace nine mostly part-time employees. Richards will become manager of King’s store in Driggs.

Locals like long-time Rocklander Margene Tomkinson are shocked by the close.

“It breaks my heart,” said Tomkinson.

Tomkinson has memories at the store, and wishes other stores hadn’t moved in to crowd King’s out.

“My kids grew up coming to King’s and looking around to find stuff to buy, and it’s just part of American Falls,” she said.

And it’s not just hard for the customers, but the employees, too. Floor supervisor Brad Curry has been here only since September, but has life-long ties to King’s.

“I’ve grew up around this store and in this town and hate to see it go,” Curry said.

As a part of management, Curry will be moved to a different store, but his parents and his step-son who also work here will lose their jobs.

And when Curry gets transferred, his wife will stay in town until he gets settled.

“Yeah, I’ve got family here. But I have to do what I have to do to take care of them,” he said.

With the recent closures of Simplot in Aberdeen and Double L Manufacturing, the timing of the close couldn’t be worse, Richards said.

“I think a lot of it’s going to mean that more people are driving to Pocatello for jobs, and so that’s going to weaken the economy even more, unfortunately,” Richards said.

With the signs for new spring merchandise still hanging and customers walking out up to the wire, Curry said, there is not much he can do about losing something so important to him.

“I’m going to leave the store and go out to my parents’ house, and they’ve got a fire pit, so I’ll roast a hot dog tonight,” Curry said.

Crew members said they were most surprised by the timing, they just found out about the closure on Monday.

All of the merchandise in the store will go to the new Middleton store.

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