It was revealed Monday, a lawsuit could force Shopko to file for bankruptcy. The news caught many loyal shoppers by surprise. Those shoppers fear the Stateline retailer could become nothing more than a memory. Shopko has been a staple store in many Stateline cities. It’s Belvidere location has been an anchor store in the community since 1994, and locals say a week isn’t complete without a trip to Shopko.
“It’s very difficult with e-commerce. A lot of the retail is going away.” said Growth Dimensions executive director, Pamela Lopez-Fettes.
Major chains like Bergner’s, Toys R Us, and Sears have all closed their doors in recent years and Shopko could soon join that list. The retailer is expected to file for bankruptcy as early as next week. But bankruptcy may not mean the end of the road for every store, like the one in Belvidere.
“There’s the possibility that they could be bought out by another company or there’s a lot of other possibilities that they can survive under.” Lopez-Fettes explains.
The Belvidere location draws in a number of shoppers daily. Craig Swift, who has been a twice a week Shopko shopper for over two decades, says he’d be at a loss if the store does close.
“Big loss. It’s something that you’re used to, it’s familiar. It’s gone, it’s history.” said Craig Swift. “I swing in from right over here, two blocks away. Pick up little things that I need. It’d be kind of a hassle to have to find somewhere else to go which is kind of disappointing since this is closer”.
The source of Shopko’s financial troubles is the pharmacy, which has put the corporation almost $70 million in debt to a pharmaceutical company. McKesson Corporation says they haven’t received payment for products since November and asked a judge this week to block the sale of their drugs at Shopko pharmacies. The Belvidere location’s pharmacy is the main reason why customers like Swift keep going back.
“I’d have to get my prescriptions and stuff at another pharmacy and hope they take my Medicare. I just retired from 45 years of work.” said Swift.
Not only would shoppers miss the convenience of the local store, Belvidere will be without the $14 million in revenue generated by Shopko every year.
“There’s other ways that we have to look into being able to repair roads and other ways the government has to compensate for those losses.” said Lopez-Fettes.
As of right now there are no plans to close or cut positions at the Belvidere Shopko.