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Shopko and Pamida complete merger, Pamida stores to be converted


Green Bay Wis. -- General merchandise retailers Shopko Stores and Pamida announced Thursday the completion of their previously announced merger that will create a $3 billion company that serves largely rural communities in 22 states.

The combined entity will retain the Shopko name. Shopko will be headquartered in Green Bay and Pamida’s corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb., will be consolidated into the Green Bay office over the next several months.

The company said that Shopko chief Paul Jones will lead the entire company as president, chairman and CEO. Pamida CEO John Harlow will serve on the leadership team and help direct the integration process.

“Our aim is to combine the best of both companies as we become one Shopko team with a shared vision to become the nation’s leading general merchandise retailer focused on serving smaller communities across the country with our Shopko Hometown store format,” said Jones.

A store conversion plan calls for all Pamida stores to be converted to the Shopko Hometown store format by the end of 2012. Six Pamida stores will not go through conversion and will be closed in August.

The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed over the past three years to augment Shopko’s larger store model, offers a merchandising strategy that combines pharmacy services with a broad offering of national brands and private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products. Size ranges from 15,000 sq. ft. to 35,000 sq. ft.

Shopko announced approximately $80 million will be invested into Pamida store conversions which will begin in June and occur in phases through the end of the year. Each individual store conversion will take approximately five-six weeks from start to finish and will include new interior and exterior signage, updated supplemented fixtures, improved store design and layout, as well as an expanded merchandise mix.

“Over the past two years, seven Pamida stores have already been successfully transitioned to the Shopko Hometown format,” said Jones. “We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers in these communities who tell us they appreciate the improved shopping experience and access to a broader, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community.”

Once Pamida’s chain-wide conversions are complete, the company plans to accelerate the addition of new Shopko Hometown stores in the second half of 2012 and into 2013. There will be no change to Shopko’s current 149 stores.

Shopko is owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners.

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