HOLDREGE – Shopko’s announcement on Monday to close all of its remaining stores, including the Holdrege location, came as a disappointment but not as a surprise to the Phelps County Development Corporation.
PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said he and his staff knew the Holdrege Shopko could shut down after the national retail chain began closing some locations in December and then announced bankruptcy in January.
“We understood that this was a possibility,” Tillery said. “We’ve been working with the property’s management firm, Noddle Development in Omaha, to explore future potential tenants.”
PCDC also has leveraged its contract with Buxton Co., a national statistics and retail recruiting firm, to pre-identify possible future retailers to lease the space.
PCDC already has been in contact with potential new retailers. Tillery also will attend a national retail trade show in May and is attempting to schedule meetings with companies that would be a good fit for Holdrege.
“We were doing all of this in advance of the Shopko announcement,” Tillery said. “This just intensifies our focus. We are vigorously pursuing alternatives to Shopko at this point.”
Tillery said Shopko is closing because of a corporate nationwide decision and has nothing to do with Holdrege or the location.
Shopko announced that it will be closing all 24 locations in Nebraska and all others nationwide. All Shopko stores are scheduled to begin liquidation soon and will close permanently in 10-12 weeks.
“There’s nothing we can do about Shopko, but we want everyone to know that we are working quickly to bring a new retailer or retailers into our market as soon as possible,” Tillery said.
The Shopko building sits on Highway 183 in Holdrege and has approximately 27,000 square feet of space. For more information, call PCDC at 308-995-4148.