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Shopko Rapid Response Team Formed

One week ago, Wisconsin-based Shopko announced the planned closure of at least 39 stores around the U.S. Unfortunately, Shopko Hometown Ord is on that list. According to Shopko spokeswoman Michelle Hansen, the company reviewed the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends and potential growth, and made the decision to close these locations. Since the news broke, our office has been in contact with the project developer, Shopko’s corporate office, and potential buyers for the property. Recent reports have indicated that Sun Capital Partners, the retailer’s private equity owner, is preparing for a possible bankruptcy as efforts to sell Shopko have stalled. If a bankruptcy is pursued, it is not yet known if the owners will attempt to restructure the company or if a complete liquidation will ensue.

Since the announcement, a Rapid Response Team has been assembled, consisting of representatives from the Valley County Economic Development Board (VCED), City of Ord, major employers, and community leaders. While our next step is not immediately certain, the current priority of the VCED and its Rapid Response Team is to make a strong case for Shopko to remain in Ord. If it is determined that this is not feasible, or an attempt is unsuccessful, we will identify any opportunities created by the planned closure and capitalize on them accordingly.

The VCED board and staff take very seriously the gap that the planned closure would create for area patrons and the jobs lost, which include 5 full-time employees and 11 part-time and seasonal employees. At this same time, we strongly encourage all residents to support their local businesses, who provide great access to goods and services, this holiday season and throughout the year. We have enjoyed tremendous economic successes for many years and will continue to do so.

For more information, contact:
Trevor Lee, Executive Director
Valley County Economic Development
trevorlee@ordnebraska.com ~ (308) 728-7875

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