CHEROKEE, Iowa -- Shopko is closing its store in Cherokee, less than three years after it opened.
It will be the second loss of a major department store in the Northwest Iowa city of 4,900 in less than two months. Sears Holdings announced during its mid-October bankruptcy filing that it would shutter the Cherokee Kmart.
Shopko, a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based chain, announced plans Wednesday to close 39 stores across the country, including two others in Iowa -- Webster City and Eldora; three in Nebraska -- Lincoln, Ord and Kimball; and four in South Dakota -- Redfield, Wagner, Webster and Dell Rapids.
With the exception of Lincoln, all are smaller formats Shopko Hometown locations.
"Despite all of the stores’ efforts, as we reviewed the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends, and potential growth we came to the difficult decision that it was necessary to close these stores," Michelle Hansen, a Shopko spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Shopko will assist those who are interested in transferring to open positions at other locations, or will provide severance benefits according to our guidelines."
Liquidation of merchandise will begin Friday, and begin Dec. 7, and the stores will be shuttered by the end of February, she said.
The Shopko Hometown in Cherokee opened in the fall of 2015, in a $3 million, 25,000-square foot store, just south of the intersection of Highways 3 and 59. The store, open seven days per week, employs about 20, a mix of full- and part-time workers.
Cherokee has long been a retail hub for several smaller cities in portions of Cherokee, O'Brien and Buena Vista counties, and the longstanding Kmart was one of the biggest draws.
The Cherokee store is one of the last three Kmarts in Iowa. A K-Mart employee said Wednesday the store at 1111 N 2nd St. remains open, and the date of its closure remains uncertain.