Rather than be a nationwide jack-of-all-retail trades, Shopko Stores focuses on a select product range across US small and rural areas. The company operates more than 320 stores, including about 135 Shopko discount stores and about 180 Shopko Hometown shops (formerly Pamida stores) in more than 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. The company is owned by Sun Capital Partners.
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.
Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko has stores in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central, and Pacific Northwest regions.
Sales and Marketing
Besides its brick-and-mortar stores, Shopko sells its products online.
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.
In 2014 Shopko extended its reach in Nebraska with several new stores. In 2014 the company opened new 36,000- sq. ft. Shopko Hometown stores in Quincy, Washinton; Mayville, Wisconsin; and Kasson, Wisconsin.
On the media front, in 2014 the company expanded Omnichannel by providing customers more access, including the ability to buy products on-line and ship them to store for free. That year it also launched TREND.spire, a fashion blog for its customers.
The Shopko-Pamida merger in 2012 reflects 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 has spent some $80 million to convert the majority of Pamida stores to the Shopko Hometown brand.