Watertown’s ShopKo store will close doors May 12

February 9, 2019

To those with rose-colored glasses on, it appeared Watertown might be spared. But the city’s ShopKo is closing.

The big box, South Church Street ShopKo anchor store avoided closure for a period recently and continued to operate, but that era ends as of an announcement today. Now, unless a person wants to drive, shopping options for everyday needs are Walgreens and Walmart, following the Watertown ShopKo’s final May 12 closing date.

Other Wisconsin ShopKo stores scheduled to close in the latest round of what ShopKo is calling “Liquidation Phase 6” include facilities in Racine, Kimberly, Kenosha, Beloit, Columbus, Mayville and Monona. There will also be others closing nationwide.

As a hint that this day might be coming, ShopKo announced recently it would farm out its pharmacy to the Pick ’n Save across South Church Street.

More Wisconsin communities have lost their ShopKo stores and these include a corporate headquarters outlet on the west side of Green Bay, Manitowoc, West Bend, La Crosse, Madison, Menasha, Stevens Point, Grafton, Neenah, Plover, Sussex, Buchanan, Mauston and Seymour.

ShopKo, a leading operator of general merchandise stores throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions of the U.S., announced that it, along with its subsidiaries, has filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

The company is seeking to facilitate the restructuring as a result of excess debt and ongoing competitive pressures. The petitions have been filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska.

“During the restructuring process, ShopKo will continue to operate and serve its customers, vendors, partners and employees,” a media release from ShopKo stated.

ShopKo has obtained up to $480 million in debtor-in-possession financing from pre-petition secured lenders, led by Wells Fargo, N.A. as administrative agent, to help fund and protect its operations during the Chapter 11 process.

“This incremental liquidity will ensure that suppliers and other business partners and vendors will be paid in a timely manner for authorized goods and services provided during the Chapter 11 process, in accordance with customary terms,” the media release stated.

“This decision is a difficult but necessary one,” Russ Steinhorst, ShopKo’s chief executive officer, said. “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 that will better serve our customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders through this process.”

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