ShopKo Closes Colorado stores; 320 Jobs Lost

Wisconsin-based retail chain ShopKo Stores Inc. said it's sold the only three stores the company has in Colorado -- potentially putting 320 people out of work.

The discount store chain headquartered in Green Bay announced Tuesday morning that stores in Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland are being sold to Regency Realty Group.

Merchandise in the stores will be liquidated, and the stores closed within about 90 days.

ShopKo said it's closing the stores for "economic reasons," but declined to elaborate.

The Longmont and Loveland stores opened in 1993, and the Fort Collins store in 1994.

Affected employees are being offered positions at other ShopKo stores, or severance packages, "where possible."

A statement from co-CEO and financial chief Brian Bender thanked ShopKo's Colorado customers for their patronage -- and the company's "teammates" for their hard work -- over the past several years.

ShopKo said the sale is not related to a merger deal reached in April with a private equity investment company located in Minneapolis.

ShopKo operates in the Midwest, Mountain, Pacific and Northwest regions.

It includes 140 ShopKo stores in mid-sized to larger cities; 223 Pamida stores in small, rural communities; and three ShopKo R-X stores.

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