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UPDATE: Shopko files for bankruptcy protection; More stores to close

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WXOW) – The Shopko retail chain has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The company made the announcement Tuesday morning in a statement.

Shopko filed the paperwork for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy which means they are seeking a court-supervised financial restructuring of the company.

They made the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska.

“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” said Russ Steinhorst, Chief Executive Officer. “In a challenging retail environment, we have had to make some very tough choices, but we are confident that by operating a smaller and more focused store footprint, we will be able to build a stronger Shopko that will better serve our customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders through this process.”

Their website provided a letter to customers, which can be read below, from Steinhorst regarding the financial move.

As part of the process, the statement said the company plans to close an additional 38 stores, move more than 20 optical centers to freestanding locations, and sell their pharmacy business.

Shopko released a list of the stores in 21 states that are closing. The north side La Crosse store, whose closing was already known, is on the list. It is scheduled to close on April 8. The next closest store to close is in Rochester. That store is set to shut down on April 15.

Shopko is also closing their pharmacy at their Winona store. While the store itself remains open, pharmacy prescriptions are being transferred to the pharmacy at Hy-Vee.

The company, based in Green Bay, said they operate more than 360 stores in 26 states.

The statement said that during the bankruptcy process, their optical centers and pharmacies will remain open for customers.

Last week, Shopko announced they were closing their store in Bridgeview Plaza that had operated there since 1972.

The move came after an attorney for one of Shopko’s pharmacy suppliers said last week that they expected the retailer to file for bankruptcy after failing to pay for $67 million in drugs. Shortly after that, a La Crosse city council member said she was told the Bridgeview Plaza location was closing.

MORE: Impact of Shopko closure felt in La Crosse

 

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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