Pamida Sale Marks First Step in Shopko Conversion Process

The liquidation sale at Pamida that started last Monday marks the first step in converting Pamida to a Shopko Hometown store. About 90 percent of the store’s items are on sale ranging from 10 to 30 percent off regular price. The sale is an effort to clear out existing merchandise to make way for Shopko’s enhanced merchandising mix.

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, 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.

Tara Powers, spokesperson for Shopko Hometown, said the liquidation sale should take 10 to 12 weeks, and once the sale is done, customers will start seeing changes in the store.

Some of these changes include new signage, new and expanded merchandise, a different layout and general updates.

While the store will stay open throughout the entire conversion, certain departments may be temporarily closed or have limited merchandise.

Powers explained that the conversion will take place one department at a time. Shopko is a general merchandise retailer just like Pamida, but Powers said customers can expect to see more variety and a lot more depth of product selection in certain departments, such as apparel and household.

“There will be more national and high quality, private-label brands that are not currently available at Pamida,” Powers said.

Another big change in the departments will be their location within the store. Powers said that the layout of the store will change based on the research and work Shopko has done to identify what works best to meets customers’ needs.

Powers said Shopko has had overwhelmingly positive response from the stores that have already been converted, and she expects to see the same thing here when the change is complete around mid-October.

The store will have the same hours of operation, which is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store will also employ the same staff, including general manager Scott Schmitz.

Mary Ann Johnson from Hannaford visited Valley City June 28 to do some shopping. She said she really likes Pamida, and although she doesn’t know much about Shopko, she’d like to see expanded merchandise, and “if the prices go down, I’d like that.”

Pauline Lentz of Valley City has been to a Shopko store in Colorado where her daughter lives. She said she imagines the quality of the store will stay the same after the conversion.

“I’m just glad we could keep a store like this in town,” Lentz said.
Paul Jones, Shopko President, Chairman and CEO said in a press release, “We are eager to be one step closer to bringing the Shopko Hometown experience to Valley City.”