By Sara Tischauser
In the same month that the Seymour Shopko Pharmacy closed, it has now been confirmed that the entire Seymour Shopko Hometown Store will be closing.
“Yes, the Seymour Shopko is expected to close on April 7 and liquidation will begin on Friday, Jan. 11,” Michelle Hansen, manager of public relations with Shopko, said in a voicemail she left at the Times Press office.
Seymour Mayor Ryan Kraft said he first heard about the Seymour Shopko closing on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 8 when he received texts from a couple of people saying employees had been told the store would be closing. At first Kraft said he thought these were just rumors because on Dec. 21 when he had spoken with Jim DePaul, chief administration officer at Shopko, Kraft had been told that the Seymour Shopko would not be closing. DePaul had said that the merchandise/retail segment of the Seymour Shopko was performing well and would not be closing.
However, when Kraft called and spoke with Hansen on Jan. 9 she confirmed that the Shopko store would be closing in Seymour. This was also confirmed by Beverly Vander Velden, communications and customer service representative from Shopko Stores.
“Unfortunately, the Seymour Hometown store will be closing in early April,” Vander Velden said in an email. “I am happy that we have been able to serve you in Seymour for the time that we have been there. The decision to close a store is not an easy one for us and is only made after a careful study of the market and various economic factors. The right decision for Shopko, although extremely difficult, is to close this store. We have some great customers, great teammates and will miss operating in the community. Thank you again for your support now and through the years. We hope we can continue to serve you in our other Shopko locations.”
Kraft said he was disappointed in how the closing of the Shopko Pharmacy and Shopko Hometown store were handled.
“There was complete lack of communication with local government, very disappointing,” Kraft said about the Shopko closing.
When the Shopko Pharmacy in Seymour was closed Shopko released no press release about the pharmacy closing and very little information was provided. There was a sign at the pharmacy that said the last day the pharmacy would be open would be Jan. 2, 2019.
Once the Shopko Pharmacy closed, Seymour no longer had a local pharmacy in town for residents to use. Kraft said had the City of Seymour been told in some way about the pharmacy closing sooner the city could have started looking for a new pharmacy to come into town. However, even with the late notice Kraft said they are looking at possibilities.
“I have two meetings with interested pharmacists the week of Jan. 21,” Kraft said. “I have two other inquiries out for potential opportunities.”
Kraft said not having a pharmacy in town impacts many people.
“Everyone is impacted,” Kraft said about not having a pharmacy. “Young child to individuals still living on own are impacted by no pharmacy [in town].”
Shopko’s closing will also impact retail purchasing, but Kraft said they need to look forward to the future. Also, he said while Shopko has been in Seymour they have been a good community supporter.
“I think it is appropriate to recognize that for the seven years Shopko was here they were a good corporate citizen,” Kraft said.