We've done a few stories on the Lufkin Mall as we've gone through the COVID-19 pandemic. Talking about store hours changing, different protocols that were being used to stay with CDC guidelines, and more.

But, as I walked through the mall this past weekend, something caught my attention that I hadn't heard about until then.

I walked by Al's Formal Wear, and this is what I saw:

TSM Lufkin - Mark Cunningham
TSM Lufkin - Mark Cunningham

Nobody told me that Al's Formal Wear was gone. Shoot, I didn't even know that it was closed, much less completely empty...

Now, Al's Formal Wear was not a place that I went to frequently. Nothing against the store, but I just didn't have a need to go rent a suit or a tuxedo very often. However, it was a place that I was used to seeing as I came in the mall.

I rented tuxedos for high school proms there and tuxes for a couple of weddings. So, I was fairly familiar with the store. But, when I walked by this weekend and saw that it was empty, it was still a surprise.

I do have to say this: I don't know how long it's been empty. This weekend was the first time I'd walked down that part of the mall in a while. So, in all honesty, it could have been empty for several months now, and I wouldn't have noticed.

All I know is that I noticed it this weekend. It was gone, and it looks to be gone for good.

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