Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Jim Orr
Western Nebraska Observer 

Kimball, Shopko Building Owner Keeping 'In Touch'


January 17, 2019

A line of communication is established between the city of Kimball and the owner of the building that houses the Shopko Hometown store expected to close by the end of February.

Both parties share a goal: finding a new business tenant or tenants to fill the building at 1217 S. Highway 71.

City Administrator Dan Dean told the City Council on Tuesday night that the city “continues to be in touch with the building owner.” The businessman, not affiliated with Shopko stores, is based in the Kansas City area.

Dean said the owner expressed openness to landing a new tenant for the property or splitting the department store building’s floor plan to accommodate multiple tenants.

Dean has noted that the property, which Shopko rents, would be ideal for a farm and ranch store to set up shop. Kimball, located along Interstate 80 in the heart of a strong agricultural region, has no such business.

As for shorter term efforts, Dean has said the city also has reached out to see if any local businesses would be interested in carrying products that Shopko has sold.

Shopko Stores Operating Co. told The Observer last month that the store will close the end of February. Shelves inside are emptying steadily. Liquidation sale discounts have hit 50 percent. Store fixtures are being sold.

Shopko announced plans in December to close 39 stores by the end of February due to long-term profit outlook, sales trends and potential growth.

Shopko’s decision to reverse the once-planned closing of its Stanley, N.D., store gave Kimball some hope. However, nothing promising locally has come from that or from a spirited campaign to save the store that included an online petition that quickly gathered more than 1,300 supporters.

More coverage of Tuesday’s Kimball City Council meeting will be in next week’s Observer.


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