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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Shopko stores on South Hill, in Bonners Ferry to close by end of February

A shopper loads her cart up with Black Friday deals at the Shopko on the South Hill in this picture from 2016. The company is bankrupt and is closing this store, along with several others in the area. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Wisconsin-based Shopko has announced it will close 39 stores in 14 states, including locations on Spokane’s South Hill and in Bonners Ferry.

Liquidation sales are set to begin today at the stores, which are to close by the end of February, according to reports. Liquidation sale signs were posted at the South Hill location by midday.

The South Hill store, at 4515 S. Regal St., will be the only Shopko to be shuttered in in Washington state. A store manager at the location said the company’s north Spokane and Spokane Valley stores will not be closed. The company’s Coeur d’Alene store also is to remain open.

About 50 employees will be displaced because of the South Hill Shopko closure, the store manager said, adding that employees will have an opportunity to transfer to other Shopko locations in Spokane Valley or Coeur d’Alene.

Closures include stores in small towns and cities in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported.

Shopko public relations manager Michelle Hansen told the Green Bay newspaper about 10 to 25 full- and part-time employees will be affected at each location, putting the scope of the job cuts at 390 to almost 1,000 employees.

Founded in 1962, Green Bay-based Shopko operates 363 stores in 24 states in the Midwest, West and Pacific Northwest, according to its website. That number includes 134 Shopko stores and 176 Shopko Hometown locations, which serve smaller communities. The company also operates five Shopko Pharmacies and five Shopko Express RX stores.

In 2005, the retailer partnered with Sun Capital Partners. The investment firm specializes in buyouts, debt and private equity.

The closures overwhelmingly impact the Shopko Hometown format, which focuses on 15,000-square-foot to 35,000-square-foot stores. They are in smaller towns and carry apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, groceries, and lawn and garden products.