Shopko Optical Rounds Out Leadership Team and Details Plans for Adding Stores

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GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko Optical, which was formed with the backing of private investment firm Monarch Alternative Capital LP in May, announced this week several appointments to its leadership team and noted that it “continues the relocation of 80 optical centers into freestanding locations.” The relocation to freestanding locations was central to the plan the new ownership group laid out when it acquired Shopko Optical in bankruptcy court for $8.5 million in May, as VMAIL reported

To date, Shopko Optical said it has opened 12 stand-alone locations, with an additional 12 locations expected to be relocated from their former Shopko store locations by early August. The remainder of the store locations are scheduled to open throughout the summer and fall of 2019, Shopko said in the announcement.

Shopko Optical will operate from a headquarters location in Green Bay and will employ 40 people on its corporate team, the announcement noted. Parent company Shopko Stores Operating Co filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2019, as VMAIL reported, and subsequently decided to liquidate its operations.

In terms of the company’s new management team (the official company name is now Shoptikal LLC), Jim Eisen is serving as interim chief executive officer and is helping to lead the company through this transition process, the announcement noted. Eisen, whose role was officially announced in May, is a former president of Visionworks.

Joining him on the leadership team is Kirk Lauterback, a 25-year Shopko Optical veteran, who has been named vice president of optical operations. Lauterback will oversee merchandising, as well as the company's retail optical centers, and its manufacturing facility in DePere, Wis.

Dr. Thomas Bobka will continue to serve as director of optometry services. Dr. Bobka has been with Shopko Optical for more than 20 years and will serve as the doctor liaison and support optometrist practice management.

“We are excited to bring together a strong group of individuals with a demonstrated track record of strategic leadership that supports the care of our patients, customers and our teammates," Eisen said in the announcement.

New additions to the Shopko Optical leadership team are Donna Capichano, who will serve as vice president of store development; Cindy Moen, who will serve as vice president of human resources, and Cathleen Stewart, who is vice president of marketing.

Capichano has 25 years of retail real estate development experience in both big-box and specialty retail and is transitioning to Shopko Optical from her former position with Shopko Stores. Moen is also transitioning from Shopko, where she spent the past 12 years leading HR business teams in the stores and corporate office. Stewart joins the Shopko Optical team from Batteries Plus, and she brings 15 years of experience developing and leading strategic marketing programs, the announcement noted.

“We have worked to build an organization that serves our optical centers the way our doctors and opticians serve our patients and customers in our communities across the country: with clinical expertise, personal attention, quality and integrity,” Eisen said. “It's an exciting time to be part of the Shopko Optical family.”