Bank News

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McIlroy Bank & Trust
anchors strip mall

by Susan Cook, assistant editor


Aggressively friendly" bank buildings and employees are the keys to the success of McIlroy Bank & Trust in Fayetteville, Ark., says bank president Jim Glenn. The buildings, Glenn says, draw customers in with their unique architecture, while the employees provide the "warm and knowledgeable" service that keeps customers coming back.

McIlroy's offices all incorporate a retail theme based on the same customer friendly principals as the Wal-Mart stores...whose founding Walton family also owns the bank's parent Arvest Group.

Designed by architect Steve Morrill of SLM & Associates in Carthage, Mo., the buildings feature amenities...such as back-lighted signs, a low teller counter, television monitors and coffee bars...designed to make customers feel at ease.

"The buildings are customer friendly and bright, with lots of signage," says Glenn. "They definitely convey a 'come in and see us' attitude."

Morrill's most recent McIlroy creation is the bank's sixth Fayetteville branch located in a strip mall at a busy intersection. Although the location offers

Exterior photo
visibility, says Morrill, Fayetteville regulations sharply curtail the amount of signage a business can display. Morrill solved the problem by placing signage on the roof of the drive-through, a three-way display obvious to drivers on the intersecting streets.

The bank gained additional visibility for this branch by working with the mall's developer to become the anchor tenant...resulting in the mall being named McIlroy Court. According to Morrill, such partnerships between banks, developers and architects will become common in the future.

"Banks are constantly looking for good sites to build free-standing structures, such as high corners that are good visibility-wise," says Morrill. "However, these sites are becoming harder to find in larger areas." Building offices in malls, he says, is the solution to this problem.

Although McIlroy's offices showcase both high-tech and customer-convenient features, Morrill and Glenn note that building costs are no more than those of conventional offices.

"Actually, I think we saved money," says Glenn. (next page...)

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