Following a nearly three-month liquidation sale and a week-long closure for remodeling and expansion, the former Pamida store in Valley City celebrated its conversion to a Shopko Hometown store Thursday with an official ribbon cutting. Shopko employees joined city officials, Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and enthusiastic shoppers for the ceremony at 8:45 a.m.
The first 100 shoppers to arrive were given $10 gift cards to use on merchandise in the store. Shoppers could also register for a drawing for prizes including the grand prize of a 32 inch LCD HDTV.
Scott Schmitz, general manager of Valley City’s Shopko store, told the audience, “We got a lot of new merchandise and a lot of different things in the store that you probably have not seen before.”
Schmitz encouraged shoppers to apply for Shopko’s “My Extra Savings” loyalty rewards card.
“Scott and his team have been an integral part of making this happen for your community, so I just want to personally thank Scott for all he’s done,” Chuck Janssen, regional human resource manager for Shopko Hometown, said during the ceremony.
Another part of the grand opening celebration was The Shopko Hometown Foundation’s gift of a $2,500 check to the Valley City Junior Senior High School.
“Our small-town values are what makes Shopko special,” Janssen said. “We believe in giving back to the community at the same time that we give to the customer.”
School board member Joyce Braunagel told an applauding audience,”We’re very grateful that Shopko thought of the school district and the students we serve here in giving this gift.”
Mayor Bob Werkhoven attended the grand opening, stating that he was glad to see the same staff is employed at the new store.
“On behalf of the residents of Valley City and the business community, I want to welcome you to our town,” Werkhoven said. “Choosing Valley City to do business is going to be advantageous to your company and also to Valley City, and we appreciate that,”
“I would encourage the residents of Valley City and the region to come in and see what (Shopko) has to offer,” the mayor said, adding that the remodel should make for a pleasant shopping environment.
Dawn Riley, executive vice president for the Chamber, said “As most of you know, I am very new to this community, so I am excited to share with Shopko to be part of the growth of this community.”
Shopko and Pamida have been familiar with each other since 1999 when ShopKo Stores Inc. purchased Pamida, but ran the stores separately. But in 2007, Pamida and Shopko split, and Pamida reestablished its headquarters in Omaha, Neb. Finally, at the beginning of this year, Shopko and Pamida announced their plans to merge and have all but four Pamida stores converted to Shopko Hometown Stores.
Shopko, which was later bought by investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., is focused on smaller and rural communities. The company is headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., and plans to invest $80 million to convert most Pamida stores into Shopko Hometown stores.
Following a three-month liquidation sale to get rid of much of the merchandise from Pamida, the store closed for a week and re-opened Sept. 23 with new signs, a different layout and new and varied merchandise. The conversion took place one department at a time, and now the entire store is open and finished.