Business

A Boise distribution center will soon close. 120 workers will lose their jobs there.

Deliveries to and from Shopko’s regional distribution center in Boise, 1001 E. Gowen Road, are falling as the discount retailer shrinks as it works through bankruptcy.
Deliveries to and from Shopko’s regional distribution center in Boise, 1001 E. Gowen Road, are falling as the discount retailer shrinks as it works through bankruptcy. dstaats@idahostatesman.com

The operator of a regional distribution center in Boise for Shopko, the struggling discount retailer, plans to close the center in April, costing 120 workers their jobs there.

The distribution center is near the Boise Airport at 1001 E. Gowen Road. It serves Shopko stores in much of the West, including Idaho, where all of Shopko’s remaining Treasure Valley stores are closing.

Built in 1992, the 350,000-square-foot center has been run since 2016 by Spectrum America Supply Chain Solutions, which operates three distribution centers for Shopko.

“There is not enough volume to support the operation of more than one distribution and transportation operation,” Spectrum America said in a written Q&A to employees that a Boise employee shared with the Statesman.

The company must clear out the center’s inventory and needs at least some of its workers to do that, so it is offering them severance pay if they work through April 15. Spectrum said it “will not contest any unemployment benefits for those who are laid off.”

The building itself is owned by LCN SKO Omaha (Multi) LLC, affiliated with LCN Capital Partners, a New York commercial real estate investment firm. It was not immediately known if LCN is already seeking a new tenant or buyer. The building and its 50 acres are assessed at $15.4 million by the Ada County Assessor’s Office.

Shopko filed for bankruptcy and is restructuring itself as a result of heavy debt and competition from other retailers — including Amazon, which is believed to be planning a big distribution center of its own in Nampa. The Shopko store on West Fairview Avenue in Boise is scheduled to close on March 17, the one on Broadway Avenue in southeast Boise on April 8, and the one on Caldwell Boulevard in Nampa on April 15, Shopko previously told the Statesman. Those closures will cost about 130 jobs.

Based in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area, where Shopko also is headquartered, Spectrum America is also closing a center in Omaha, Nebraska, affecting 300 workers. One in Green Bay will stay open.

Customers of Fred Meyer stores in the Treasure Valley have seen signs welcoming Shopko customers there, because Shopko is transferring its local prescriptions to the Fred Meyer chain. (McKesson Co., a pharmaceutical company, says Shopko owes it $67 million, mostly for prescription drugs.)

Six Idaho Shopko stores will stay open. They are in Lewiston, Idaho Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Salmon and Oldtown (in far northern Idaho).

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David Staats is business editor of the Idaho Statesman, which he joined in 2004. He has assigned, edited and reported business, politics, government and other Idaho stories since 2006.Get the top Idaho business stories of the week in a free email every Monday morning. Go here, then press the “Select” button under Idaho Business.
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