Shopko to close more stores; IR, Kingsford survive cuts

Marinette, Escanaba, Marquette locations on list to be shuttered

The Shopko store in Kingsford is not among the new round of closings announced by the company Wednesday. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Struggling retailer Shopko will close numerous locations in the Upper Peninsula — but not its Kingsford and Iron River stores — under an updated list released Wednesday.

The Green Bay-based company said it will close almost 70 percent of its stores between now and mid-May as it attempts to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy.

Locations in Calumet Township, Houghton, L’Anse, Escanaba and Marquette are among the more than 250 Shopko sites slated to be shuttered.

A full-size Shopko in Houghton and a Hometown-style location in L’Anse will close May 5. Calumet Township’s Hometown store will close May 12, as will full-size stores in Escanaba and Marquette.

The closing of the pharmacy at Kingsford had already been announced and inventories and files were transferred to the Walgreens in Iron Mountain.

Shopko first announced plans to close 39 stores in December before expanding the list to more than 100 stores in January when it filed for bankruptcy protection. This week’s expanded list added another 139 locations, Shopko spokeswoman Michelle Hansen told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

A store in Eagle River, Wis., is among those that will remain open.

The updated list names 42 stores in Wisconsin that will close, including Marinette. In the Green Bay area, where the company was founded in 1962, Shopko has seven locations. By the end of May, it will have only three.

“Through our conversations with the potential buyers, it has become clear that it is in our best interest to operate with a significantly smaller store footprint,” Hansen said in a statement.

“Today we are announcing the closure of an additional 139 Shopko and Shopko Hometown stores. Further, we will relocate approximately 50 optical centers in closing stores to new freestanding locations. … We remain hopeful that we will be able to emerge as a stronger company, and we believe that this is the best course of action to make ourselves more attractive to potential buyers and successfully emerge from Chapter 11,” Hansen said.