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Shopko to close area stores
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Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin-based discount retail Shopko plans to close 39 locations, including Shopko Hometown locations in Larned, Lyons and Russell, a company spokesperson confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Liquidation sales are scheduled to start Friday and the stores are expected to close at the end of February.

Other Kansas stores closing include Anthony, Phillipsburg and Clay Center.  

The news about the closings follows a report that Shopko management is working with legal counsel for restructuring assistance.

Shopko currently operates 363 stores throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions. 

Shopko was founded in 1962 by James Ruben, and its first store opened in Green Bay. From 1991 to 2005, the company was publicly held, with stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange. 

In December 2005, the company was acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners and reverted to private ownership. In 1999, Shopko purchased Pamida, a regional discount chain that operated mainly in smaller communities of 3,000 to 8,000 people. 

Shopko operated Pamida as a separate division until 2007, when Pamida was separated from Shopko and reestablished as a separate company. In 2012, Shopko and Pamida merged into one company. 

Shortly after, most Pamida stores were rebranded as Shopko Hometown.