PLATTSMOUTH – City officials expressed disappointment that the Shopko Hometown store is closing, but hope the building’s location will attract a new tenant.

The Shopko store, located just east of U.S. Highway 75 near Avenue B, will close on April 7, sources told the Plattsmouth Journal.

Cindy Cruse, executive director of the Plattsmouth Chamber of Commerce, said it’s sad to hear about the store’s situation.

“They will be missed,” she said. “It’s important to have a variety of (shopping) options.”

“It’s unfortunate,” Mayor Paul Lambert added.

Signs posted on the store indicated that all sales are final and that items to be returned will not be accepted. Sales of up to 40 percent were occurring storewide.

City Administrator Erv Portis felt the closing was more about issues on the corporate local than lack of shoppers locally.

“It’s not a Plattsmouth issue,” Portis said.

Cruse and Lambert agreed.

“It’s not closing for lack of support locally,” Lambert said.

Fortunately, the building is at a “great location” that might attract a new tenant, according to Cruse.

“I don’t think it will be a hard sell,” she said.

“It’s an attractive building and a good location,” Lambert added.

Store officials referred all comments be made from the corporate headquarters, which in turn directed the media on Wednesday to a company press release concerning the store’s filing for bankruptcy.

According to the press release, Shopko has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and will be closing 38 stores. These are in addition to the 45 store closings already announced earlier this month and last month.

The company has filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The company is seeking to facilitate the restructuring as a result of excess debt and ongoing competitive pressures. The petitions have been filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska.

“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” said Russ Steinhorst, chief executive officer. “In a challenging retail environment, we have had to make some very tough choices, but we are confident that by operating a smaller and more focused store footprint, we will be able to build a stronger Shopko that will better serve our customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders through this process.”

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