RIP Shopko (1962-2019). The Wisconsin-based regional retailer will close all of its remaining stores, with going out of business sales to begin immediately. Shopko.com is already shut down.
The complete chain closure is a swift collapse following a January filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which reported 360 locations in its initial filing, began closing 105 stores in late January, followed by an updated plan to shutter more than 70 percent of its stores last month. At the time, reps called the move a “second chance footprint,” intended to shrink the company to a lean number of around 100 stores to avoid total liquidation. The plan collapsed as the company failed to find a buyer.
“This is not the outcome that we had hoped for when we started our restructuring efforts,” said Shopko CEO Russ Steinhorst in a statement.
In a court filing yesterday, the Shopko closing list was updated to include all stores, with a complete wind-down expected by mid-June.
The toy industry effect is expected to be minimal, though as The Toy Book previously reported, Melissa & Doug and Hasbro made the list of the company’s top 30 unsecured creditors with $787,000 and $708,000 owed, respectively.
Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments, owns Shopko. The firm acquired the company in a $1.2 billion leveraged buyout in 2005, followed by what was, at the time, the largest sale-leaseback of stores in retail history.
Shopko’s loss will be felt in the smaller, largely rural communities that it served — communities that may not attract a larger big box retailer, and already have smaller outlets such as Dollar General.