Shopko intends to close an additional six department stores this year on top of the 39 announced late last year.
The retailer, which has its headquarters in Ashwaubenon, said in December it would close 39 stores across 19 states by the end of February. Now, as rumors of a pending bankruptcy case circulate, Shopko added six more stores to its closure list, including two in the Milwaukee region.
WTMJ radio, Milwaukee Business Journal’s broadcast partner, reports Shopko intends to close stores in Appleton, Grafton, La Crosse, Menasha, Seymour and Sussex. The original list of closures included just one Wisconsin store in Mauston.
Shopko has more than 360 stores in 24 states, according to its website.
Michelle Hansen, Shopko’s public relations manager, did not return requests for comment from the Milwaukee Business Journal. She previously attributed the original closure list to Shopko’s review of stores’ long-term outlook for profitability, sales trends and potential growth.
The mayor of Seymour, an Outagamie County community, said in a statement on the city’s website that its store is due for closure by April 7. Mayor Ryan Kraftasserts Shopko does not plan to issue a media release about closing the store and that liquidation sales would begin today, Jan. 11.
The announcement of additional closures comes amid claims by one of the retailer’s suppliers that Shopko intends to file for bankruptcy protection. San Francisco-based McKesson Corp., a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals, alleges in legal filings that Shopko owes the vendor more than $67 million for products it supplied.
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