ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin-based retail chain Shopko Stores has filed for bankruptcy protection as it makes plans to close more stores.
The company says excessive debt and ongoing competitive pressure are forcing it to seek protection from creditors. Shopko is reporting assets of less than $1 billion and liabilities of between $1 billion and $10 billion.
“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” said Russ Steinhorst, Chief Executive Officer. “In a challenging retail environment, we have had to make some very tough choices, but we are confident that by operating a smaller and more focused store footprint, we will be able to build a stronger Shopko that will better serve our customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders through this process.”
Shopko says it plans to continue operating through Chapter 11 reorganization after securing $480 million in financing from a group of lenders led by Wells Fargo Bank. The financing will allow Shopko to continue to pay employees, vendors and suppliers. The retailer, headquartered near Green Bay, says it will close 38 more stores. Last month, it announced plans to close about 40 of its more than 300 stores across the country.
Shopko currently operates stores in Cresco, Forest City, Hampton, Humboldt, and Mason City in Iowa and Albert Lea, Austin, Kasson, Rochester, and Winona in Minnesota.
The company says the locations at 808 4th Street Southeast in Hampton and 2820 Highway 63 South in Rochester will be shut down on April 15.
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