Ashland Shopko Set to Close, 26 Out of Work

Company Cites Financial Reasons

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Shopko is closing 14 stores across the country, including the location in Ashland costing 26 people their jobs.

The company said the decision was made last Wednesday to close the store for financial reasons.

Shopko has housed a number of department store operations since it first opened in the 1980s.

Last November, the store announced an expansion of its grocery options, but those efforts were not enough to keep the doors open.

City leaders say this will leave a hole in the local shopping community, and will impact the area’s economy.

Locals can expect more development, but they need more people to keep it growing economically or they will start to see more stores closing, according to city leaders.

“People aren’t shopping as much, and when they do they are heading to Duluth or Superior or Walmart or that sort of thing,” said Bob Berndt, operations lead at Shopko.

“It’s hard to attract the bigger retails and there are other communities bigger than us that have the Shopko closing and other name brand stores closing, too,” said Dale Kupczyk, executive director of the Ashland Area of Development.

Kupczyk said there will be more developments to help the community and workforce.

A Culvers fast food restaurant and St. Luke’s clinic are expected to appear in the area sometime this year.

Shopko is officially closing its doors April 4 and everything s on sale until the racks are empty.

City leaders do not know what they will do with the building, but say they are determined to put something there.

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