Shopko Stores files for bankruptcy, plans 100 store closings

By Kate Gibson

/ MoneyWatch

General merchandise retailer Shopko on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it would close more than 100 stores as part of its reorganization plan.

The troubled company, already in the midst of closing more than 60 stores, added 38 more store closures with its bankruptcy announcement, a spokesperson confirmed to CBS MoneyWatch. Shopko was not immediately able say how many of its 18,000 employees might be affected by the store closures.

Shopko is relocating over 20 optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business, it said in a news release. It's secured up to $480 million in financing from a group of lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank that will let it continue operating, Shopko said.

"This decision is a difficult, but necessary one," Russ Steinhorst, Shopko's CEO, said in the statement. "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."

Purchased by Sun Capital Partners, a private-equity firm, for about $1.1 billion in 2005, the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company operates 363 stores in 24 states under varying formats, according to its website.

Founded by a pharmacist in 1962, Shopko went public in 1991. It generated $3 billion a year in revenue in 2017, according to a spokesperson.

Here is a list of stores — operating under the Shopko, Hometown and Express names — the bankrupt company plans to close:

First published on January 16, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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