Shopko Hometown Hardin set to shut down by May 12

Thursday, February 14, 2019
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Photo by Gary Rood

A sign outside Shopko Hometown Hardin advertises a sale in preparation for the retail store’s impending closure.

One week after Crow Mercantile closed due to fire damage, a second Big Horn County business, Shopko Hardin Hometown, is set to shut down as part of a financial restructuring plan for the store’s nationwide chain. Shopko announced the closure on Thursday, Feb. 7, along with the shutdown of stores in Great Falls, Sidney and Whitefish.

Since the store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 16, Shopko decided to close 250 stores nationwide – about 70 percent of its total franchise. This process will be done in phases, starting March 17. All chosen stores are expected to close by May 12.

Shopko Hometown in Hardin first was established along Center Avenue in October 2012 when it replaced a store from the now-defunct Pamida retail chain. Three years later, in October 2015, it moved four blocks further north to a facility twice the original’s size.

The store, which has a rating of 3.9 of 5 on Google Reviews, had been well received in past years, especially for its pharmacy that allowed access to medication without residents having to travel to Billings. Before the store was scheduled to close, only the pharmacy was set to shut down, in accordance with Shopko’s restructuring plans.

At the time of Shopko’s second grand opening in Hardin, a representative for the store, Aaron Anciaux, told the Big Horn County News the town was to serve as a “prototype” for store expansions, as the community had provided the chain with a large base of financial support.