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Anniversaries & Spotlights

CB Fox Department Store: Celebrating 40 Years

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In Los Alamos, there has been a department store in the same building for 61 years. The 1951 building originally housed the first theater in the “Secret City of Los Alamos,” but for the last 40 years, it has been home to CB Fox Department Store.

David Fox liked to take his young family camping in the Rocky Mountain West. He dreamed of living in that region and being his own boss. When he stumbled upon an established store for sale in the remote mountain town of Los Alamos, he saw his opportunity. The store already had a loyal customer base. Fox bought it and moved his family to New Mexico from St. Louis.

The loyal clientele has endured. CB Fox President Andy Fox says, “Mostly I remember our loyal customers,” explaining that in 2011, the redevelopment of Central Avenue disrupted for months the businesses that lined it. His customers couldn’t access the store’s front entrance, but he says, “The support we received that summer was unbelievable. One customer tried to write us a $1500 check because she didn’t want to see us go under. She didn’t even buy anything!”

Every day visiting customers tell Andy Fox how unique the store is and how they used to have one like it in their hometown before the big-box stores moved in. Fox speculates people are wearying of online shopping and that they again want to touch and feel products they are buying.

CB Fox’s future goals? “We need to expand [consumers’] awareness [of us] throughout all of Northern New Mexico and not serve just Los Alamos County.” He points out that in every department, they have countless quality goods at competitive prices, and their furniture department shines, even when compared with ones in bigger cities. He also hopes to use their website, atomiccitystore.com, to drive more tourist-related business.

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Leah Pinkus