FOREST CITY, Iowa - For some communities, Shopko is the department store in town, but that will soon be coming to an end.
250 Shopko locations nationwide will be shutting down by the end of May, including four in the area: Forest City, Albert Lea, Austin and Cresco. This comes after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Paul Fitzgerald has lived in Forest City since the early 80's, and remembers when the Shopko store was called Pamida. He had hoped the Forest City store would survive the company's bankruptcy proceedings, but no such luck.
He sees Shopko's closing as a blow to the Winnebago County seat.
"I'm disappointed to see it close because it's another commercial entity that small towns don't want to give up if they have to."
The loss means one less close employer for college and high school students.
"Good paying jobs, and handy jobs for Waldorf workers or high school kids that could work there without having to drive to Mason City for a job."
May 12th is the targeted date for closure.