Two of the nation’s leading Midwest-based general merchandise retail chains, Shopko stores and Pamida, will merge to create one of the largest U.S. retailers focused on serving smaller and rural communities, according to a news release. The combined entity will have nearly 350 locations in 22 states and plans for new store growth in the second half of 2012 and beyond. Financial details of the merger, which is expected to close in mid-February, were not disclosed.
With annual revenues of $2 billion, Green Bay, Wis.-based Shopko operates 149 stores in 13 states located throughout the Midwest, Mountain and Pacific Northwest regions. Omaha, Neb.-based Pamida operates 193 stores in 17 states, primarily in the Mountain, North Central and Midwest regions, and has revenues of approximately $1 billion.
The combined company, which will be headquartered in Green Bay, will use the Shopko name and be led by Shopko President, Chairman and CEO W. Paul Jones. Pamida President and CEO John Harlow will serve on the leadership team and help direct the integration process. There will be no change to Shopko’s stores, and approximately $80 million will be invested over the next 12 months in the conversion of most of Pamida’s locations to the Shopko Hometown store concept and brand, the news release says.
“Merging Pamida and Shopko is a great move for our businesses and our customers given our complementary strengths, store networks and consumer-centric retail models,” said Jones. “The Shopko Hometown store format, featuring our unique merchandising strategy and improved store design, is an ideal fit for the smaller communities that Pamida serves with its exceptional service and community-minded approach. We intend to be the leader in this category by combining the best of Shopko and Pamida in our aggressive new store growth plans.”
The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed over the past three years to augment Shopko’s larger store model, offers a differentiated merchandising strategy, the news release says. Shopko Hometown combines pharmacy services with an offering of strong national brands and private-label brands of apparel, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products in store formats that range from 15,000 to 35,000 s.f.
Over the past two years, Shopko has purchased seven stores from Pamida and transitioned them to the Shopko Hometown format.
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. Both companies are owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt and other investments in market-leading companies.
“This is an exciting move for Pamida, and the Shopko Hometown format will offer our customers an even better retail experience and a new and differentiated product offering that is not currently available in the smaller communities we serve,” said Harlow. “Pamida’s great associates, store locations, focus on personalized service and commitment to giving back in our local communities are all ideal complements to Shopko.”