ASHWAUBENON — Shopko has announced a plan Wednesday for financial restructuring, which includes filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and closing 38 more stores. They also plan to relocate over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations and conduct an auction for its pharmacy business.
Spokeswoman Michelle Hansen says these stores are in addition to the 45 store closings already announced earlier this month and last month. She says the official list of stores will be released Wednesday afternoon. We’ve been told but have not been able to confirm that Freeport will be on the list. (Freeport is not on the list per update above.)
The company said it will close another 38 stores as part of the reorganization and has secured up to $480 million in financing from a group of lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank. The company reported assets of less than $1 billion and liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion.
The Ashwaubenon-based retailer started as a privately held company pharmacist James Ruben and a group of investors launched in 1962. Shopko’s first store, at 216 S. Military Ave., is still in operation today. It merged with SuperValu Stores in 1971 and was run by the Minneapolis grocery store chain for 20 years.
In 1991, SuperValu spun it off as a publicly traded company, with initial shares offered at $15 per share. The spinoff wasn’t complete, though, until Shopko bought the last 46 percent of stock from SuperValu in 1997.
The company was bought by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners in January 2005 for $1.1 billion.
“Shopko goes back to the days when there were regional discounters. Shopko persisted. It was extremely well run. It was well-positioned in the northern tier. They were known for their service and being a well-run operation,” Egalanian said.
According to their website, Shopko currently operates 134 Shopko stores, 176 Shopko Hometown locations, 18 Shopko Pharmacy locations and 5 Shopko Express stores.