Home » News » Clintonville News » Clintonville Shopko closes its doors

Clintonville Shopko closes its doors

Employee reflects on final day in business

By Erik Buchinger

The Clintonville Shopko Hometown store’s final day of business was June 23.

Karen Heiman had been with the company for the last 24 years, including 22 years as an assistant manager.

“It’s been a very close-knit group here with some people who worked 35 years together,” Heiman said. “I appreciate the many, many friendships from our great teammates here.”

The Clintonville location, 291 S. Main St., was among the 120 stores that survived a significant number of closures with the hope of the company being purchased to remain open.

Heiman said she stayed optimistic throughout the process before hearing on March 18 the store would be shutting down in mid-June.

“There was a conference call for the management, and that’s the day we found out we were definitely closing,” Heiman said. “We were very hopeful, but we got that call and despite their best attempts, it would be closing. That was on a Monday, and we started liquidation on Thursday.”

Despite the optimism, Heiman knew this would be a possibility.

Shopko Hometown Clintonville employees pictured from left are (front row) Amiya Peterson, Jordan Heil, Connie Schoelkopf, Sarah Frankowski, Ann Hoffmann, Shirley Travnieck, Joyce Schwartz, Chris Much; (back row) Blake Hauser, Emma Zwirschitz, Ariana Noss-Feavel, Nick Oosterburg, Ryan Heil, Gabe Hernandez, Michelle Brown, Tom Lederer, Chris Vollrath, Mary Tullberg, Karen Heiman, Kathy De Winter, Donna Lederer and Sue Hansen.
Photo courtesy of Sue Hansen

“It wasn’t totally unexpected because if you knew all the speculation there had been, but it was still very sad when you knew it was final,” Heiman said. “I had to inform the teammates that it was final and we would be losing our jobs.”

Heiman said around 14,000 people lost their jobs company-wide.

In the last week of the Clintonville Shopko location, employees had themed days to go out in style including a sports day and Hawaiian day.

Food was brought in for staff including hot dogs and sub sandwiches.

On the last day, employees dressed up with ties, dresses and fancy clothing and enjoyed a broasted chicken dinner.

“Our motto was we wanted to go out in style,” Heiman said.

After the store’s official closing on Sunday at 6 p.m., employees and families enjoyed cake and champagne while playing games.

“We just had a time to be together for fellowship,” Heiman said.“I had some motivational things I read about moving on in life. New opportunities will arise.”

A Facebook group was set up for the employees to stay in touch, with plans to get together once a month.

Heiman does not have her next job lined up. She plans to take some time off before pursuing the next phase of her career.

“It was a super, super dedicated team here,” Heiman said.“There’s no doubt there are some very quality people. If anybody in this community wanted to hire a person that worked here, they would be very happy with that employee.”

Heiman said she was glad to spend her final day with the employees and will remember the good memories from Shopko.

“We wanted to be together, and we wanted to end on a very positive note,” Heiman said. “I wanted everyone to have very good memories for their last day here and just do some fun activities. When you walked away, you say this has been a good experience. Remember the best and forget the rest.”

The Clintonville store opened as a Shopko in 2012 after the company merged with Pamida.

Scroll to Top