After Shopko’s end, what comes next? Cities around the state slowly finding out

Article by Omaha World Herald staff writer Jeffrey Robb

After Shopkos shuttered around Nebraska, a few communities are seeing movement to replace the stores with another retail outlet. But one Omaha real estate executive says people shouldn’t expect retail stores to resurface in every former Shopko building.

“Probably not, especially if they’re one user,” said Trenton Magid, executive vice president of NAI NP Dodge.

As stores everywhere face continuing turmoil from a shifting retail market, Nebraskans have felt the biggest loss from the closure of every Shopko across the state. Just in the last couple of years, Younkers closed stores in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island. The loss of Toys R Us affected the two largest cities. Herberger’s closings reached Nebraska’s larger cities — Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, North Platte and Scottsbluff.

But Shopko’s loss was the most widespread, affecting at least two dozen communities big and small, from Omaha to Ord to Ogallala, Kimball to Valentine, Wayne to Falls City. The stores anchored suburban strip malls and provided goods at small-town Shopko Hometown stores. They once employed more than 1,400 people around the state, according to the State of Nebraska.

Yet the turnover is starting.

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In Albion, tech company Applied Connective Technologies will relocate its headquarters to the former Shopko Hometown it is renovating. In a Facebook post, the company said: “We’re excited to continue bringing our friends and neighbors the same exceptional customer service and cutting-edge technologies we always have — just with a little extra elbow room now.”

Owner Ed Knott said his business looked at building a new location, but saved money by renovating. “This just worked out for us,” he said.

Read the full article on Omaha World Herald’s website.