Following an auction of the bankrupt retailer's pharmacy assets, Lewis Drug is in line to take over the pharmacy files from the Mitchell Shopko location.
Monday was the day for the transaction hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the district of Nebraska, where Shopko's bankruptcy case was filed. Court documents show Shopko, and its parent company Specialty Retail Shops Holding Corp., is in the process of liquidating its 234 pharmacy locations and in a Jan. 23 auction, 120 of the pharmacies were assigned successful bidders and backup bidders for the pharmacy assets. The auction involves the sale or transfer of the prescription files to other outlets, and closing the pharmacies in the Shopko stores.
In the case of the Mitchell store, Lewis Family Drug was identified as the successful bidder in a Jan. 25 filing, while Hy-Vee is identified as the backup bidder. Lewis has two locations in Mitchell, with a standalone store at 1507 N. Main St., along with a pharmacy location at County Fair Food Store at 1305 W. Havens Ave.
Mitchell's Shopko at 1900 N. Main St. is expected to remain open, even as the retailer is selling off its pharmacy businesses. No transition date has been identified.
Lewis Drug is set to take over the operations from the Madison and Sisseton Shopko pharmacies, as well. The price of those purchases has not been finalized.
More than 20 companies were among those to bid on the 120 locations. Earlier this month, Shopko announced it would close more than 100 retail stores as part of its restructuring plan. Shopko previously had operated more than 360 stores in 26 states before the closures. South Dakota store closures include Custer, Dell Rapids, Redfield, Wagner, Webster and an eastern Sioux Falls store. Most of those locations are slated to close by March 3, with the Custer and Sioux Falls stores to close in mid-April.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that auction proceeds are expected to generate $52 million in proceeds for Shopko in its bankruptcy effort. The newspaper called Walgreens one of the "big winners" in the auction, ending up with assets from more than 60 of the 120 locations. In South Dakota, those locations were primarily West River in Hot Springs, Belle Fourche, Rapid City and Sturgis, but the national retailer only has West River locations in Rapid City and Spearfish.
Prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Shopko had already been selling off pharmacy businesses in numerous states. Hy-Vee purchased the pharmacy files from Shopko's two Sioux Falls locations and the Watertown store in December, part of the purchase of 22 pharmacy locations by the regional grocer.