Rather than a national jack-of-all-retail trades, Shopko Stores concentrates on a select product range in small and rural areas of the US. The company operates more than 330 stores, including about 135 Shopko discount stores and 175 Shopko Hometown shops (formerly Pamida stores) in some 20 states across the Midwest, Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions. It also sells goods online. Instead of offering a watered-down selection of many retail categories, it pushes popular, high-margin categories such as casual apparel, health and beauty aids, and housewares. Most Shopko stores have optical centers and pharmacies. In 2012 Shopko Stores merged with Midwest chain Pamida. Both are owned by Sun Capital Partners.
Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko has stores in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central, and Pacific Northwest regions.
Shopko Hometown stores, which fill the intermediate ground between full-size Shopko stores and the smaller Shopko Express format, sell convenience foods, consumable goods, home products, apparel, and more. They also house pharmacies and some have optical centers. The company also operates five Shopko Express Rx drugstores, and 18 Shopko Pharmacy locations.
Combined, Shopko and Pamida have nearly $3 billion in annual revenue.
The Shopko-Pamida merger reflected Sun Capital's belief that the union of two retail chains will be greater than the sum of their stores. Indeed, the combination formed one of the largest US retailers focused on serving smaller, rural communities. Benefits from the union include shared resources and merchandising expertise, and stronger buying power. Pamida, which operated 193 stores in 17 states, concentrated in the Mountain, North Central and Midwest regions. The company spent some $80 million to convert the majority of Pamida stores to the Shopko Hometown brand. The conversion of the stores was completed by the end of 2012.
Pharmacies and optical centers are big business for Shopko, which fills more than 12 million pharmacy prescriptions and sells more than 500,000 pair of eyeglasses each year, making it one of the nation's top 15 optical companies. Its optometrists perform in-store eye exams and prescribe correctional lenses, most of which are made in the company's optical laboratory and in 80-plus in-store finishing labs. The retailer is also rolling out health clinics in select locations in a partnership with Medical Marts Group. Shopko competes with retail giant Wal-Mart in 97% of its markets.
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