Ord, NE -- Shopko has announced plans to close dozens of stores, including a store in Ord that just opened two years ago. Stores in Lincoln and Kimball will also close.
Community members broke ground on the Shopko Hometown store and a hotel nearby in the fall of 2015, and the store opened in 2016.
Valley County Economic Development has been successful in helping businesses grow in the community. The Shopko store benefited from tax increment financing.
Shopko joined the community, after the Alco store closed.
Economic Development Director Trevor Lee said they were aggressive in pursuing a big box-type store to replace Alco, and Shopko is one of the few operating rural areas. Lee called in unfortunate to see Shopko close, but urged community members not to panic, and to support local stores.
Shopko said the three Nebraska stores would begin liquidation on December 7, 2018 and close the end of February.
Public Relations Manager Michelle Hansen said in a statement, "Despite all of the stores’ efforts, as we reviewed the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends, and potential growth we came to the difficult decision that it was necessary to close these stores. Shopko will assist those who are interested in transferring to open positions at other locations, or will provide severance benefits according to our guidelines. Shopko deeply values its employees and the communities it serves. It is never an easy decision to close a location and Shopko thanks its employees for all their support and hard work as well as its loyal customers."
In Ord, a developer named Oppidan Investment Company built the Shopko store, and sold it to a third party who then leased it to Shopko.
Lee said he would be working with Shopko's real estate department, and the building's owner.
Lee said Ord has been "tremendously successful" in recruiting business over the years, including a hotel that has seen strong numbers, as well as manufacturing jobs and an ethanol plant.