Friday, April 18, 2014
   
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Pamida, Shopko merge

Gothenburg store will be Shopko Hometown.

Gothenburg shoppers will soon have access to a broader range of national brand-name items in a variety of departments when the local Pamida store becomes a Shopko Hometown later this year.

Shopko Stores and Pamida announced last week they will merge to create one large chain focused on serving smaller rural communities.

The combined entity, owned by investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., will operate under the Shopko name.

The Omaha-based Pamida company operated 193 stores in 17 states. The merger will create nearly 350 Shopko locations in 22 states.

Shopko spokesperson Tara Powers said she can’t put an exact date on when Gothenburg residents will begin seeing physical changes at the Pamida building.

She said conversions are set to begin early this summer and it will take approximately six months to complete all stores.

Converting the local store to Shopko Hometown will begin with a liquidation sale, Powers said, as the interior of the store is revamped department-by-department to allow for new merchandise.

“The interior of the store will get an updated, modern feel,” she said.

The store, including its pharmacy, will remain open throughout the interior remodeling process, which usually takes five to six weeks.

Converting to Shopko Hometown will provide residents with access to a wider variety of products.

Powers said Shopko Hometown has a larger assortment—particularly in apparel and home merchandise—than Pamida and tends to put more emphasis on national brands.

To offer validity to the merger, Shopko bought seven Pamida stores in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, converting them into Shopko Hometown stores.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” she said.

Shopko stores also generally require more staffing than Pamida so it is possible, Powers said, that jobs could be added locally.

“It should be a very positive thing for the Gothenburg community,” she said.

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