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ASHWAUBENON — Wisconsin retailer Shopko is closing 39 stores in 19 states.

Shopko spokeswoman Michelle Hansen says each store employs 10 to 25 employees, putting the scope of job cuts at about 400 to nearly 1,000 positions. Liquidation sales begin Friday with the stores closing by the end of February.

The Green Bay area department store chain operates about 360 stores in 24 states. Just one store in Shopko's home state will close. That store is in Mauston, near Wisconsin Dells. 

Hansen says the closures were dictated by the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends, and growth potential.

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