Kalispell, Libby Shopkos to close as chain shuts doors

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Shopko announced Monday it would close its remaining stores. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin-based retail chain Shopko Stores plans to close its remaining 120 department stores by mid-June.

The Shopko in Evergreen will be among the closures. The Whitefish Shopko Hometown was already slated to close as of May 12. The company said in February it was closing nearly 70 percent of Shopko stores as it attempted to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy.

Shopko said Monday the company was unable to find a buyer for its business. The company plans to begin winding down its retail operations this week.

Other closures in Montana are in Libby, Missoula, Billings, Helena, Glasgow, Shelby, Lewistown and Livingston.

WLUK-TV reports those closings will affect an additional 5,000 employees.

Shopko says it will not move forward with an auction that was scheduled Tuesday. The liquidation is expected to take 10-12 weeks.

The retailer, headquartered near Green Bay, filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing excessive debt and ongoing competitive pressure, and began announcing store closings.

CEO Russ Steinhorst says in a statement “this is not the outcome that we had hoped for when we started our restructuring efforts.”

Shopko began with a store in Green Bay in 1962.

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