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Shopko

Shopko closed its four Lincoln stores, including its location at 27th Street and Nebraska 2, this spring.

Another retailer is leaving Lincoln.

Shopko on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska and announced plans to close additional stores.

Among the closures announced were all the Shopko stores in Lincoln.

The Wisconsin-based retailer in December announced plans to close the north Lincoln Shopko at 3400 N. 27th St. Wednesday, it said it will close the remaining three stores, at 27th Street and Nebraska 2, 27th Street and Pine Lake Road and 66th & O streets.

According to a store closing list, the north Lincoln store is scheduled to close March 3, while the other stores are slated to close about April 15.

The company also plans to close its store in Bellevue, as well as Shopko Hometown stores in Kimball, Ord and Plattsmouth.

The optical centers at all of the Lincoln locations and the ones in Bellevue and Plattsmouth will remain open and be relocated to new locations. Shopko said its freestanding optical business has been a bright spot and that it plans to expand it.

Company officials could not be reached for comment on the local closures.

Russ Steinhorst, Shopko chief executive officer, called the decision to file bankruptcy "difficult, but necessary."

“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,” Steinhorst said in a news release.

Shopko will join a long list of retailers exiting the Lincoln market. Others include Toys 'R' Us, Younkers, Sears, Gap and Yankee Candle. Many, such as Shopko, have filed bankruptcy after being unable to keep up with competition from online retailers such as Amazon and traditional retailers such as Target, Walmart and Costco.

Shopko had tried for years to carve out a niche mostly serving smaller cities and rural areas. In 2012, it bought more than 160 Pamida stores in smaller towns and rebranded them as Shopko Hometown.

Shopko operates stores in 27 Nebraska locations, including Shopkos in Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte, southwest Omaha and west Omaha, and Hometown stores across the state, including in Auburn, Beatrice, Falls City and Superior.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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