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Shopko Optical to launch stand-alone offices
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Shopko Optical to launch stand-alone offices

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The facade of a Shopko Optical store is shown.

Shopko department stores are now history but Shopko Optical lives on.

Under new ownership, the optical business will open free-standing locations later this month in Somers and Mount Pleasant.

The Kenosha County store that had operated in the Shopko department store at 5300 52nd St. is scheduled to open Nov. 18 in the Market Square Centre at 3621 Market Lane, just west of Green Bay Road.

The store will be one of many businesses popping up in a commercial area near Walmart and Sam’s Club that includes a Festival Foods supermarket, a Kwik Trip gasoline-convenience store, a Firestone tire store and a Starbucks.

Last month, Oakfire, a pizza restaurant, and Jiffy Lube announced plans to open facilities there.

In Racine County, Shopko Optical is scheduled to open Monday in Mount Pleasant at 2860 Green Bay Road, near the intersection of Highway 11 (Durand Avenue).

The optical stores, formerly mainstays of the department store chain that went bankrupt, are now owned by Monarch Alternatives Capital LLP, a New York-based investment firm that specializes in distressed debt and bankrupt companies.

Chelsea Barnes, a Shopko Optical spokeswoman, said the company is on an aggressive expansion plan.

The company plans to open 80 stores before the end of the year, with more coming in 2020.

Some of the stores are being relocated from former department store locations.

Struggling to maintain solvency, the former parent company began closing stores late last year in the hopes of restructuring its financial operations.

In January, it closed more stores and launched a plan to relocate optical departments to free-standing locations.

More store closings were announced in February, and in March, the company declared that all of its remaining stores would be closed by June.

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