Retailers come and go, but the pending closures of ShopKo department stores in some South Dakota communities may have devastating affects.
The announcement that the national chain will close three dozen stores, including four in South Dakota, has stunned city and chamber officials in Dell Rapids, Redfield, Wagner and Webster, who say their economies and residents will suffer from the closures, and worry that opportunities for future growth could be hampered
The departures will mean job losses, hour- long drives for shoppers and sales tax reductions that could limit municipal services.
South Dakota News Watch reporter Bart Pfankuch talked to officials in the four cities and will include insights on small town economics and shopping local from a USD professor. The story also will show how one small city in North Dakota saved its ShopKo after starting a social media petition.