Shopko to close Provo location

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Elliott Miller
Both the Provo and West Bountiful Shopko locations will close this spring due to under performance. The company will replace many of their larger stores with consolidated “hometown” formats, including one in Moab. (Elliot Miller)

The Provo Shopko will close this spring after 27 years in business.

Public Relations Manager Michelle Hansen said the company is closing both the Provo and West Bountiful locations because they are underperforming.

“These stores had deteriorating sales and profit performance, so they were not performing at an adequate level,” she said.

Shopko will close a total of 14 stores but plans to open another 20 later this next month, with continued plans for another 20 to 30 by the end of the year. It will replace the “big box” stores with a “hometown format” that allows for convenience in medium- to large-sized communities. The consolidation represents an elimination of about 50,000 square feet.

Hansen said the closing will affect about 30–40 Provo jobs. “It’s always difficult to close stores,” she said.

It’s disappointing but, according to Provo Mayor John Curtis, not surprising.

In a blog post from Feb. 2, he said, “If you shopped there you will know why it closed. Parking was too plentiful, the lines were never crowded, and selection was marginal — three things that spell disaster for retail.”

Speculations of a Target possibly replacing the Shopko location surfaced on the Provo Buzz Twitter page, but no business has yet confirmed to be taking over the space. The city of Provo tried previously to acquire Target without success.

“We attempted to incentivize Target into our community five years ago,” Curtis said. ”The incentives were borderline ridiculous, and yet Target walked away from the deal. If not careful, incentives can wipe out all the financial benefit of bringing retail to a city.”

Shopko announced in February the opening of one of its new stores in Moab, occupying a former Alco store. The opening date is scheduled for the end of March.

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