Shopko on Monday said it is closing all of its stores.
That includes the remaining stores in South Dakota, including locations in Mitchell and Winner.
A court filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska - where Shopko is holding its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case - listed notice of additional store closings.
Locations in Mitchell, Madison and Winner are expected to close by June 16. Other South Dakota locations to close include Belle Fourche, Hot Springs, Mobridge, Sturgis and Watertown. In all, an estimated 120 more stores the company has not yet closed are expected to close by mid-June.
"This is not the outcome that we had hoped for when we started our restructuring efforts," said Shopko CEO Russ Steinhorst in a press release. "We want to thank all of our teammates for their hard work and dedication during their time at Shopko."
The Mitchell location, which is at 1900 N. Main St., has remained open amid other closures for Shopko. It wasn’t clear Monday how many employees were being affected by the closure.
Mitchell Area Development Corporation Executive Director Mark Vaux said it was “tremendously unfortunate” news to learn, and he said his organization would be available to the employees affected to provide assistance in finding a new job.
“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the employees,” he said. “We’re putting a plan together to do whatever we can to help them through the adjustment, whether it’s training in other areas, finding job opportunities or making sure they’re going to be OK and can stay here.”
Vaux said he didn’t see the closures as being an indictment of Mitchell’s retail climate, but rather the difficult realities that brick-and-mortar retailers are facing.
“From a business and retail standpoint, it’s significant. It’s impactful,” Vaux said. “We’ll come back from this. We all believe in this community and we’ll heal in time and we’ll make the best of it that we can.”
Twelve South Dakota stores were announced to close in February, including those in Aberdeen, Chamberlain, Custer, Dell Rapids, Milbank, Rapid City, Redfield, both Sioux Falls stores, Sisseton, Wagner and Webster.
Shopko said it could not find a buyer for the stores that were not closed or were scheduled to close. The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based company operated full-sized stores, like what Mitchell has had, that are about 80,000 square feet in size. It also operated smaller Hometown stores that ranged in size from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet, which is what Chamberlain, Wagner and Winner have had in their communities.
Shopko filed for bankruptcy in January and officially split off the company’s pharmacy assets in February. Before the closures began, the retailer had more than 360 stores in 24 states. Lewis Drug won the bid to purchase the pharmacy assets from the Mitchell store, taking on Shopko’s pharmacy customers.