How Shopko Closings Are Impacting South Dakota

DELL RAPIDS, SD–  “Shopko” announced it will be closing stores in Chamberlain and Custer.  This comes after “Shopko” announced other closures last month.  One of the towns losing its “Shopko” is Dell Rapids.

“We’re really looking forward to ramping things up and doing some more economic development. This feels like a little bit of a set back,” says Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce President Dan Ahlers.

“Shopko Hometown” in Dell Rapids is one of 37 store locations closing their doors.  Although the news broke a few months ago, this is still big loss for the town, especially when it comes to their local businesses.

Ahlers explains, “When people stay in town, they tend to shop more local. If they have to go to Sioux Falls to pick something up, while they’re there they might pick up things that they would normally purchase from the rest of us. So having ‘Shopko’ here was certainly a benefit for all of our businesses in town.”

Another strong impact without “Shopko” in smaller towns like Dell Rapids is loss of jobs.  Even finding a business to replace the retailer will present a challenge.   “Shopko” gave the residents different options.

“When you’re looking at a community, can you buy everything in your community? Can you get everything that you need?  ‘Shopko’ (kind of) filled that void,” says Ahlers.  “You know, you could get clothing and shoes. You can get your health and beauty aids. It was another avenue.”

Even though a big challenge will be filling this space, Dell Rapids officials say unlike some other smaller towns they are lucky.  The town is constantly growing and moving forward.

“We’ve had a lot of other businesses coming into town and still have lots of new businesses looking to open up shops on our main street. We have some new construction across the street from ‘Shopko’ that’s going to have new office spaces,” says Ahlers.

There are no set plans for the building in Dell Rapids.  The hope is that another retailer like “Shopko” will move into the space.

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