The Shopko Hometown store in Kewaunee was among the 139 store closures the company added to its list of closings last week. That amounts to the shuttering of almost two-thirds of the company’s approximately 370 retail locations. The announcement set the Kewaunee Shopko closure for early May, and the City of Kewaunee is looking at future options for the store.
The Sister Bay Shopko is among 120 remaining top-performing stores and another 61 stand-alone eyecare centers that make up the so-called “New Shopko.”
Shopko released this statement with the announcement of the additional store closures: “Through our conversations with the potential buyers, it has become clear that it is in our best interest to operate with a significantly smaller store footprint. Today we are announcing the closure of an additional 139 Shopko and Shopko Hometown stores. Further, we will relocate approximately 50 optical centers in closing stores to new, freestanding locations. … We remain hopeful that we will be able to emerge as a stronger company, and we believe that this is the best course of action to make ourselves more attractive to potential buyers and successfully emerge from Chapter 11.”
The company claimed excessive debt and ongoing competitive pressure forced it to seek protection from creditors. Shopko is reporting assets of less than $1 billion and liabilities of between $1 billion and $10 billion.
Shopko says it plans to continue operating through Chapter 11 reorganization after securing $480 million in financing from a group of lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank. The financing will allow Shopko to continue to pay employees, vendors and suppliers.