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Shopko to Liquidate, Joining Retail Graveyard

Bankrupt retail chain Shopko Stores has begun liquidation proceedings and is expected to shut all doors by mid-June.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based chain filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in January, when it initially said it would close 105 stores. That was on top of the 39 it said it would shutter back in December. But soon that number rose to 250 locations. The plan was to operate as a going-concern with a much smaller footprint, both in terms of store size and number of units.

The company operated more than 360 stores across 26 states at the time of its filing. The stores are in the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions of the U.S.

But the retailer also has been under competitive pressure from stores like Target and Walmart moving into nearby neighborhoods, not to mention the ease and availability consumers now have in surfing the web for bargains without having to leave their homes.

Founded in 1962, Shopko became a public company in 1991. In 2012, the retailer merged with Pamida and converted more than 170 Pamida stores to the Shopko name. Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Boca Raton, Florida, acquired Shopko for $1.1 billion in 2005.

Shopko is just the most recent of a number of retailers that have gone out of business. This year alone has seen the loss of Gymboree, Payless ShoeSource, Charlotte Russe and the Samuel’s Jewelers chain. Samuel’s filed its Chapter 11 petition back in August when it had about 120 stores. As of early this year, had hoped to keep about 60 stores in operation as a going concern. Samuel’s also was unusual in that the August filing was its fourth tour of bankruptcy duty. The first was in 2003, and then it filed twice under the Barry’s name.

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