Shopko Stores announced on Wednesday that the company plans to close the Shopko Hometown store in Greybull at the end of February. It’s one of 39 Shopko stores in 13 states that are on the chopping block.
Michelle Hansen, a spokesperson for Shopko, said in a statement on Thursday, “Shopko deeply values its employees and the communities it serves. It is never an easy decision to close a location and Shopko thanks its employees for all their support and hard work as well as its customers.
“Despite all of the store’s efforts, as we reviewed the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends, and potential growth we came to the difficult decision that it was necessary to close the store.
“Shopko will assist those who are interested in transferring to open positions at other locations, or will provide severance benefits according to our guidelines.”
All but one of the 39 stores that will be closing is a Shopko Hometown store. The others that are closing are located in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
The company currently owns and operates 234 Shopko Hometown stores and 126 regular Shopko stores. Thirteen of them are located in Wyoming and the Greybull store was the only one on the closure list. Hansen said the closures are not a reflection of a strategic shift for the company, but rather an attempt to pare underperforming stores.
Hansen couldn’t say how many employees are working at the Greybull store, but did say, a Shopko Hometown typically employs 10 to 25 full- and part-time teammates.
Liquidation sales will begin at the store on Friday, Dec. 9.
The Greybull Shopko Hometown store opened in October 2012. Prior to that, it was a Pamida store.
Ron Fiene, who owns the building, said he entered into a 15-year lease agreement with Pamida in February 2009 and that Shopko assumed the terms of that lease shortly before it opened in October 2012. The lease runs through February 2024.
Fiene said Thursday morning that the announcement from Shopko caught him by surprise, that he had yet to hear from anybody associated with Shopko’s corporate office and that he’s been advised by his attorneys not to attempt to reach out to the company.
“Obviously, I’m concerned,” he said. “But we are going to do whatever we can to keep as much business in the community as possible.”