A Wisconsin-based retailer with 36 Iowa locations, mostly in small towns, is planning to close 20 of the stores by the end of May after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
ShopKo of Green Bay, Wis., has begun liquidating merchandise at the ShopKo Hometown stores and will begin closing some locations next month.
Eastern Iowa stores slated for closing and their last day of operation include Vinton, on April 7, and Oelwein and Toledo, both on May 12.
ShopKo also operates Hometown stores in Dubuque, Dyersville and Mason City, which will continue operation.
Founded in 1962, ShopKo is a $3 billion retailer that operates 360 stores throughout the central, western and pacific northwest regions of the United States. The average size of a ShopKo store is 80,000 square feet.
ShopKo filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 16 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska, petitioning for a court-supervised financial restructuring.
The company has obtained up to $480 million of debtor-in-possession financing from certain of its pre-petition secured lenders, led by Wells Fargo, to help fund and protect its operations during the Chapter 11 process.
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“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,” Russ Steinhorst, ShopKo CEO, said in a news release.