Local big-box store to shut doors in 2019

Financial restructuring affects local branch, locations nationwide



Payless ShoeSource employee Laura Garcia talks about how she found out the Shopko Pullman store would be closing Saturday at Shopko. “It’s kind of somber, everyone just knows they’re not going to have a job” her co-worker Jazylyn Martinez said.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen editor-in-chief

Shopko Pullman will close its doors mid-April after the company filed for bankruptcy Jan. 16.

Marie Dymkoski, Pullman Chamber of Commerce executive director, said Shopko is having financial problems nationally. Aside from Pullman, other store locations in Lewiston and Orofino, Idaho, will not close.

Shopko filed for a financial restructure under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, according to a press release. The company will close 38 stores but plans to relocate over 20 optical care centers to freestanding locations.

Dymkoski said the pharmacy center in Shopko closed around the last week of November.

“You walk in and there was big, huge yellow clearance sale signs, every item on the shelf had small, red manager sale signs on it,” she said. “It was like that all the way through December.”

Dymkoski said customers who had ongoing prescriptions were transferred to Rite Aid. Jesse Robinson, Shopko Pullman store manager, said they transferred the customers to Rite Aid so they do not need to find a new pharmacy.

“I’ve only been here for 11 years,” Dymkoski said. “This is certainly the largest store that has folded under bankruptcy in my tenure here.”

Robinson said he was notified about the closure Jan. 16. He was with the company for 10 years and did not expect the store to close. He said there is one benefit to the store closing.

“We employ a lot of students … so they’ll do their finals and then they’ll go home on summer break and come back in the fall and find a new job,” he said

Payless ShoeSource, which is located inside Shopko Pullman, will also close.  Laura Garcia, Payless ShoeSource employee, said she can keep her job because she also works at another location in Moscow, Idaho.

Jazlyn Martinez, Payless ShoeSource employee, said she started working in November and would try to apply for the other location in Moscow, Idaho. She said her current job was her only source of income.

“I live just down the road so I like working here cause it was convenient,” Martinez said. “It sucks. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Dymkoski said the store closure could provide an opportunity for other organizations to take over.

“If the right business or businesses go into that space,” she said, “that could be a really great location.”

Martinez said she hopes Target will take over the location.

“Younger people love Target,” she said. “Especially dorm room stuff.”