Shopko Closing


Anna Hulstedt, Features Editor

      On Monday, March 18, Shopko announced that all stores will be closing by mid-June as it declared bankruptcy after being unable to find a buyer for the business. The local stores affected include Belvidere, Beloit, Dixon, and Freeport. Shopko will be closing the remaining of the 363 stores in 10 to 12 weeks.

      Earlier this winter, Shopko declared bankruptcy and closed several stores with a notice that more stores could be closing as well in the near future. The Shopko pharmacies were closed about a month ago.

      However, Shopko’s 51 optical business will stay open. The company received financing from Wells Fargo, and the optical businesses will likely be opened in new, freestanding locations. Either way, it is suggested that Shopko optical patients get information to transfer their accounts in the case they are interested in switching care providers upon Shopko’s closure. It is also unclear whether Shopko will continue to use an online website for shopping after the closing.

      In some smaller, more remote towns, Shopko is the only department store within miles for families. Therefore, this closing could negatively affect smaller communities that rely on the store for their day-to-day essentials. For instance, in Stanley, Wisconsin, Shopko is the only department store in the whole town, and citizens must drive for around a half hour to reach a different department store.

      Many of Belvidere North students frequently visit the Belvidere Shopko to pick up necessary items, project materials, or snacks as it is easily accessible in close proximity to North. Belvidere still has a WalMart, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar, but Shopko provides more variety and is much closer for North students to shop at.

      In 2018 and 2019, many stores have been closing on a variety of levels. In addition to Shopko, several more stores are preparing to close or have already closed, including Toys R Us, Charlotte Russe, Gymboree, and Payless ShoeSource.

      As Shopko prepares to close, many shoppers can look forward to the liquidation sales that occur between now and the date of closure, which is set to be mid-June. Going out of business sales should begin fairly soon and will get better as time draws near to the closing, although merchandise remaining will decrease.

      Be sure to check out Shopko soon for liquidation discounts and remember to use up any remaining coupons or gift cards so that they don’t go to waste.