The Fairmont Shopko store to close.

Retailer Shopko announcing Wednesday morning they’ve voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Shopko also announced it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Locally, the stores in Fairmont and Estherville will be closing. The company says the optical shop in Fairmont will transition to a free standing location. No dates have been announced on when the stores will close.

The Company says they’re seeking to restructure as a result of excess debt and ongoing competitive pressures.

During the restructuring process, Shopko will continue to operate and serve its customers, vendors, partners and employees.

“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.”

The company is also filing customary first day motions that, once approved by the court, will allow the Company to smoothly transition its business into Chapter 11, including, among other things, granting authority to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and pay vendors and suppliers in the ordinary course for authorized goods and services provided on or after the filing date.

Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko operates more than 360 stores in 26 states throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions.

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