Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
Local

Hallmark store in Sterling closing Feb. 16

STERLING – Sterling will soon get its final Hallmark moment. 

On Feb. 16, Kirlin's Hallmark will close after four decades at Northland Mall.

Its parent company, Quincy-based Kirlin's Inc., also is shutting down stores in Elk Grove and Akron, Ohio. 

The local Hallmark, which employs 13 people, used to be at the west end of the mall, but moved to its current eastside spot in 1998. 

Jean Deets has worked at the store since 1976, and became its manager in 1985. She stepped down in 2009, working part time ever since. 

"When I started, you could hardly walk down the mall on Friday nights because there were so many people," Deets said. 

Things changed when Walmart opened, she said, but the local Hallmark store "stayed strong all these years." 

The trend in retail is big-box stores. Now, at least four places in the mall are unoccupied, including the spot that had been home to Urban Outlet, a clothing store that recently moved downtown. 

On Jan. 24, Hallmark employees received word that their store was shutting down. A closing sale started Friday. 

The announcement came from "out of the blue," Deets said. "The district manager came one day and said we're closing. We've had a lot of customers express their sadness."

Candy Parks of Rock Falls had a basket full of items at the store.

"It's sad," she said. "Another store closing. Another empty place."

Laura Sievert, marketing director for Kirlin's in Quincy, said her company never takes lightly a decision to close a store. 

"In today's economic climate, you have to be in a profitable location," she said. "It's lease negotiations this time of year, so it's the time of year when we open and close stores. There were great employees at the [Sterling] store. They have been very professional."

The company has 90 Hallmark stores. 

"We opened five stores in Chicagoland and one in Missouri in the last 4 months," Sievert said. 

The nearest Hallmark is in Dixon – Pam's Hallmark.

Loading more