Shopko Stores closing stores in North Dakota, Minnesota

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Shopko has announced it's filed for bankruptcy and will close dozens of stores. Shopko is reporting assets of less than $1 billion and liabilities of between $1 billion and $10 billion.

McKesson Corp., one of the retailer's drug suppliers, says Shopko owes the company $67 million.

The company says in various news releases that the move will not impact operations at "continuing stores".

An article in the Ely Echo said that Shopko had not made its monthly lease payment to the property owner in Ely, where there is a store.

The company also announced another round of store closings, including its two Sioux Falls stores.

The retailer plans to close an additional 38 stores and relocate 20 optical centers to "freestanding locations".

"We are open for business", Shopko CEO Russ Steinhorst wrote in a letter to customers across the country.

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As of Wednesday, Shopko had 367 stores and more than 15,000 employees across 25 states. Today, Shopko took an important step towards protecting our future and ensuring our ability to continue delivering the high-quality products and services that our customers are accustomed to receiving.

On top of that, he said Shopko has struggled to compete against bigger brick-and-mortar businesses like Walmart and Target, which have less debt and greater economies of scale.

During the restructuring process, Shopko will continue to operate and serve its customers, vendors, partners and employees.

In Minnesota, the Shopko stores in Rochester and Fairmont along with three Shopko Hometown stores in Mahnomen, Warroad and Paynseville are closing.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019. It operates 363 stores in 24 states.

Founded in 1962 and based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko Stores Operating Co., was bought by Sun Capital in 2005 for about $1.1 billion.

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