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Halls Closes On The Plaza After A Half-Century

Ben Palosaari


After nearly 50 years on Kansas City's swanky Country Club Plaza, Halls department store closed its doors over the weekend. The brainchild of Hallmark founder Joyce C. Hall, Halls operated in several Kansas City locations since opening in 1916.

A year ago, the greeting card maker announced they would close their iconic storefront. 

On its last day in business Sunday, spirits of employees and shoppers were generally high. It was rainy and damp outside, but inside, movers maneuvered empty tables and display racks through the increasingly the increasingly empty shop, while as one shopper put it, customers "picked over the corpse" of the retail institution. 

Mingling with customers in the men's department, Halls President and CEO Kelly Cole said that although Halls is leaving the Plaza, the store is still part of Kansas City's shopping history and future. 

"It has been an iconic location," he said. "But we really look at this as the beginning an era rather than the end of one." 

Halls will now operate a single location that is currently being constructed at Crown Center. The store is expected to open in mid-September, and will be housed entirely on Crown Center's third floor, with an adjacent floor for a parking ramp and valet parking. 

Halls closing was particularly emotional for customers Lenette and Dana Crawford. As the married couple shopped for last time at the store on Sunday, Lenette fondly recalled working at the store in the 1980s and when they registered for their wedding gifts there in the 1970s. 

"It was 40 and half years ago that we registered here. It was just a great experience," she said, adding that she likely won't shop at the Crown Center Halls in the future. "It's just a special memory."

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