Shoppers and experts react to Shopko bankruptcy

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Shopko filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, with 38 stores set to shut their doors, impacting locations in the tri-states, including stores in Fort Madison and Burlington, Iowa and Memphis, Missouri.

In Illinois, stores in Monmouth, Jacksonville and Quincy will stay open for now. Local experts said they aren’t sure how long that’ll last.

Shoppers outside Shopko today who said they were concerned about the decreasing options for shopping here in Quincy.

“I try to come here quite a bit,” said Teresa Crowder, who makes Shopko a common stop when she drives from Pittsfield, Illinois to go shopping. She’s disappointed to learn that the company is struggling.

“We don’t have a lot of options in Pittsfield,” said Crowder, “so it’s disappointing I don’t know where else I’m going to go.”

Quincy University Professor Mitch Ellison said without a competitive advantage over larger retailers, Shopko’s future is in question.

“Chapter 11, I think this is the first in the eventual shutdown of the whole Shopko chain, ” said Ellison, professor of accounting and finance at QU, adding that Shopko-like other retailers that recently closed in Quincy aren’t fighting online retailers, they’re fighting more efficient and well-equipped retailers.

“Shopko lost it’s competitive advantage years ago,” said Ellison, “They started originally as a pharmacy, they got into general merchandising, and basically K-Mart as well as Shopko and other players tried to me-too Walmart.”

But, he said Quincy still has growth potential. Pointing to retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods that have recently moved in.

“Quincy is still growing, it’s just the smaller players, less efficient players are having to leave,” said Eliison.

The stores earmarked for closure will shut down on April 15th.

Shopko officials said the optical locations in both fort Madison and Burlington will stay open through the closure, and they will be relocated to another place in those communities as a standalone location after both of those stores close.

Frank Healy

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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