Shopko layoff

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development said Thursday that nearly 2,500 workers in Wisconsin will be out of a job when all Shopko stores in the state close. 

A total of almost 2,500 Wisconsin workers will have lost their jobs when the last Shopko closes for good, a state agency said Thursday.

The Department of Workforce Development said Shopko, the bankrupt Wisconsin retailer, would lay off another 1,715 employees in the state from 39 stores as it winds down operations and goes out of business.

Thursday’s announcement brings the total number of employees to lose a job as the company closes all of its stores to 2,496, according to the state.

The retail chain based in Ashwaubenon filed for bankruptcy protection in January and said it would go out of business after it couldn’t find a buyer. The company started with a Green Bay store in 1962.

“Shopko has been an integral economic fixture in many Wisconsin towns and cities,” said DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman. “The changes resulting from these closures will be felt by hard-working Wisconsinites in many communities.”

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When it filed for bankruptcy protection, Shopko had 360 stores in 26 states, including 52 and a support center in Wisconsin. The Madison stores are expected to close April 14, followed by the Monona location on May 5.

A transportation company, Spectrum Transportation Services LLC & Spectrum America Supply Chain Solutions Inc., whose only customer was Shopko has also closed, leaving 225 employees without a job, the DWD said.

The DWD said Thursday that it would offer affected employees services such as workshops on resume writing and interviewing, job searching and budgeting.

Laid-off Shopko employees could also use re-employment services for free through the state’s job centers. Training assistance is another option for those in a workforce development program.

Frostman said his department will work to give laid-off workers “the opportunity to re-train and pivot to new job prospects in this ever-changing retail landscape.”

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