Pamida

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Pamida
Former type Private
Industry Retail
Fate Merged with Shopko
Founded 1963
Defunct 2012
Headquarters Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Number of locations 175+
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, market, housewares, pharmacy.
Owner(s) Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
Website pamida.com

Pamida /pəˈmdə/ was a chain of department stores with more than 175 locations in 16 Midwestern and West Central U.S. states. Pamida stores were generally located in smaller communities that range from 3,000 to 8,000 in population. The Pamida name represents the first two letters of the first names of co-founder D. J. (Jim) Witherspoon's three sons: Pat, Mike, and David.

History[edit]

A typical Pamida store in Smithville, Tennessee.

Pamida had its beginnings in a service merchandise business begun in 1948 by Jim Witherspoon and Lee Wegener. Witherspoon and Wegener opened their first retail outlet in Knoxville, Iowa in 1963 as part of the Gibson Products Company. A second store soon followed in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and the stores quickly expanded throughout the midwest. By the late 1970s, the stores were no longer associated with Gibson Products and began to be called "Pamida" after Witherspoon's children Pat, Mike, and David.[1]

Witherspoon and Wegener sold Pamida in 1981 to employees, and in 1986 a unit of Citicorp acquired a controlling interest in the company. Several former Fisher's Big Wheel stores were also acquired in 1994.[2] In 1999, ShopKo Stores, Inc. purchased Pamida and began operating the company as a division within the company. In 2000, ShopKo Stores, Inc. acquired Place's and converted the stores into Pamida stores. In 2005, ShopKo Stores, Inc. was purchased by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a private investment firm. In 2007, Pamida was separated from ShopKo, and subsequently reestablished its corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.[1] On January 4, 2012, it was announced that Shopko and Pamida would merge and that all but six Pamida stores would be rebranded to Shopko Hometown stores. The stores in Sparta, Michigan, Litchfield, Minnesota, Ontonagon, Michigan, Albia, Iowa, Red Oak, Iowa, Corydon, Iowa, and Mount Vernon, Missouri were closed instead of converting to Shopko Hometown.[3]

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