Alta: An Unexpected Closure

Note on the front door of Alta

Another vacant store on Laurel Street, only a hand scrawled sign on the door reading, “5-21-11:  Alta Clothing has now closed all stores.  Thank you for many years of support.”  No signature.

Inside, only odds and ends remain:  some wire mannequins, an oversized vase, a few decorative chairs.

Alta’s sudden closure took people by surprise, including many of its loyal customers, recommended by one reviewer on Yelp for the, “I’m not a teeny bopper, but still want to be stylish” set.

Unless you happened to wander in during its final days, when clothes were drastically marked down, you wouldn’t have known owner Rhonda Lackmann planned to shutter the SC shop offering mid-range to higher end pieces.  No going-out-of-business sign appeared in the windows.  No explanation given, leading many curious passers-by to stop in at the Chef Shop next door in hopes of more information.

It seems no one knows for sure why Alta closed, but an employee in a nearby store speculated the decision may have been prompted by the need to care for an aging parent.  (The Laurel Street Spy left a phone message for Rhonda, but the call has not been returned.)

Alta will be missed…as will Holly, its incredibly helpful store manager.



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  1. deb.kharma says:

    I just saw that it was closed and I feel like my best friend died….
    didn’t know it was and can’t find Holly’s or her sister’s phone # to find out why…
    This was my most favorite place in the world…like going into CHEERS and “everyone knows your name”…My brother just called and he said…”you’ll find somewhere else”, and I replied..”NO I WON”T :-( (

    • debramonroe says:

      Dear Deb Kharma,
      That was my go-to place, too!
      I know what you mean. Totally.
      We form a connection – a bond – with certain stores that reflect our identify. When they disappear, in such an unexpected way, it can be really unsettling.
      I’m glad you took the time to comment. The closing of Alta really threw me off, too and by the number of women stopping by and gawking at the empty store, we’re in good company.
      Maybe it has something to do with the lack of an explanation…the formality of preparation…no going out of business sign…no liquidation sale…no notice.
      I bet there’s some research out there…in the area of retail psychology…that would help us understand why we feel the way we do.
      Welcome to LSS, btw! I’ll be back posting in several weeks after a long planned break.
      Best regards!

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