Shopko closing five West Texas stores

ANDREWS -- Five Shopko stores are closing their doors in West Texas.

Shopko plans to have its stores in Andrews, Monahans, Kermit, Presidio and Alpine closed by May, according to its website.

This move comes after closing several stores last year, and Shopko filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last month. The store cited excess debt and ongoing competitive pressures in the bankruptcy filing.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city of Andrews had 17,000 residents last year. The closing of the store will have an impact since it’s one of the only grocery stores in town.

During the bankruptcy process, Shopko hopes to restructure its finances, stating on its website that it will continue to operate some locations. Shopko has more than 360 stores in 26 states.

One Andrews resident, Emilio Garcia, worked at Shopko when he was 16-years-old. It was one of his first jobs, and the store was an exciting addition to the small town.

“Before it got here, it was just a plain building. The only thing open was Porters. And you have these Dollar General stores. They [Shopko] have more variety, and that’s why more people come over here,” he said.

But soon the Andrews location, along with four others in West Texas, will be empty. Garcia believes others in the community will stick to smaller-scale stores, instead of traveling farther to grocery shop.

“Well, we always have tons of dollar stores, like Family Dollar and Dollar General, just 15 minutes away. I think people are just going to go to their most local stores. Because if they have to travel out of town for their basic needs, that’s going to cost more,” he said.

Another life-long resident, Amy Montoya, said she’ll have to make the nearly 40-minute drive to Odessa.

“Here, if we needed something, we can just come here shortly and just get what we need and stay in town. But now we have to go to Odessa or somewhere else,” she said.

Montoya explained one of the unique things Shopko brought to Andrews that she’ll miss.

“It gave everybody the opportunity to buy stuff for other seasons. Like for Christmas, spring and summer, fall, it was wonderful! I liked it. And the clothing was good too. I’m just grateful for the time that Shopko has been open because they have good stuff and people have been nice,” she said.

Montoya added that she’s happy the store’s closing is slated for May. The spring closing date will give her time to purchase flowers and plants.

“I’ll be sad. This is where I get my flowers. I get ready for spring, my summer, my vegetables. So now I’ll have to go to Odessa, and I don’t want to do that. I like Shopko, the seasons are wonderful,” she said.