|Founded||April 5, 1962(as Shopco)|
|Headquarters||Green Bay, Wisconsin, U.S.|
Number of locations
|357 (July 2015)|
|James Ruben, Founder|
Russell Steinhorst, CEO
|Products||Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, market, housewares, contact lenses.|
|Revenue||US$ 3.25 billion (2016)|
|Owner||Sun Capital Partners|
Number of employees
Shopko (formerly ShopKo until June 2007) is a chain of retail stores based in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. Shopko was founded in 1962 by James Ruben, and its first store opened in Green Bay. From 1991 to 2005, the company was publicly held, with stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SKO. In December 2005, the company was acquired by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners and reverted to private ownership. In 1999, Shopko purchased Pamida, a regional discount chain that operated mainly in smaller communities of 3,000 to 8,000 people. Shopko operated Pamida as a separate division until 2007, when Pamida was separated from Shopko and reestablished as a separate company. In 2012, Shopko and Pamida merged into one company. Shortly after, most Pamida stores were rebranded as Shopko Hometown.
Chicago pharmacist James Ruben moved to Green Bay and he opened the first Shopco store at 216 S. Military Avenue in 1962. He envisioned a larger retail store with health care services combined with the retail operations. As a result, Shopco became one of the first chains to offer such services as a pharmacy and eye care center within the store. The name later changed to "ShopKo", and in 2007 to to "Shopko", with an updated logo, but Shopko Express stores retained the older style until fall 2008
In March 1961, Green Bay Mayor Roman Denissen and Shopco Stores, led by Chicago pharmacist James Ruben and a group of investors, announced plans for a $1 million department store on Military Avenue. In April 1962, the first ShopKo opened. In September 1969, the first Shopko store in Michigan opens in Marquette.
In June 1970, Ruben announced plans for corporate headquarters on Ashland Avenue in Ashwaubenon. In that same month, ShopKo Corp. becomes ShopKo Stores, Inc. In January 1971, thefirm announced plans to merge with SuperValu of Minneapolis. Also in 1971, the new Ashwaubenon headquarters opened. The merger with SuperValu was completed in April 1971. In August 1971, ShopKo announced plans to start putting pharmacies in its stores. When Ruben left the company to become president of SuperValu in September 1972, William Tyrrell succeeded himt. In 1977, ShopKo topped $100 million in sales. Starting in 1978, ShopKo included optical centers in some stores.
In 1988, a new corporate headquarters opened in Ashwaubenon by the Bay Park Square Mall. The chain also expanded in to Utah, with stores in Sandy, Murray, Taylorsville, Provo, Ogden, Layton, and West Jordan. The company hit $1 billion in sales on the strength of 87 stores in 1988. In February 1989, ShopKo and SuperValu introduce Twin Valu, a hypermarket concept, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, combining the general merchandise of ShopKo with the grocery selection of Cub Foods.
In 1990, ShopKo opened its 100th store, including its first venture in California. SuperValu announced in mid-1991 that ShopKo would become a publicly traded company. The stock debuted at $15 a share. Dale Kramer also took over the reins of the company in 1991. In late 1991, ShopKo introduced a "Vision 2000" prototype model, which opened in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Duluth, Minnesota, Dixon, Illinois, Loveland, Colorado, Longmont, Colorado, and Lacey, Washington, and relocated stores in Marshall, Minnesota, and Mitchell, South Dakota. In 1996, ShopKo announced plans to merge with Phar-Mor, an Ohio-based chain, but those plans were later called off. The following year, Shopko acquired Penn-Daniels Inc. and its eighteen Jacks Discount Stores. In 1997, Phar-Mor split from ShopKo, and ShopKo bought out all of SuperValu's stock in the company. It also banned all tobacco products from being sold in its stores. 1998 brought yet another acquisition, this one of Venture Stores in Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. The deal was brokered through Kimco Realty. William Podany became President of ShopKo in 1999. He led the acquisition of 147 Pamida stores later that year. ShopKo also launched spin-off pharmaceutical company ProVantage on to the stock market. Late in 1999, ShopKo
opens its first test prototype store in Meridian, Idaho, named "Beyond 2000," referring to ShopKo's Beyond 2000 merchandising strategy, the successor to the Vision 2000 strategy of the early 1990s.
In March 2000, shares of ShopKo hit a record $3.57, up 70% from the year before. Later that year, thefirm announced that it would sell ProVantage to Merck & Co. for about $222 million. Early in 2001, it announced the closings of 23 stores and a distribution center, cutting 2,500 jobs and bowing out of Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky. The company's CEO, William Podany, resigned in April 2002; Jeffrey Girard became his interim replacement until Sam Duncan took over in October.
In 2005, ShopKo opened the first few ShopKo Express locations, which were smaller, and aimed at competition with Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy. Around that time, the chain exited the state of Colorado (some locations were acquired by JCPenney), and closed its Reno, Nevada location. Late in 2005, ShopKo was acquired by Sun Capital Partners. In May 2006, Michael McDonald took over as CEO. The following year, Pamida spun off from ShopKo. ShopKo also rebranded, dropping the capital camel case 'K' in its name and introducing a new logo. Shopko Express expanded into urban markets in 2008 with the opening of a Green Bay, Wisconsin location, but this store was shuttered less than a year after it was opened. During the late 2000s, Shopko started to anchor more shopping centers, such as the ones in Suamico, Wisconsin and North Branch, Minnesota. Michael MacDonald resigned as CEO in April 2009, he became CEO of DSW, Inc. W. Paul Jones immediately replaced MacDonald. In late 2009, Shopko added online shopping as a way to purchase items.
In May 2010, Shopko outsourced its IT services to HCL Technologies, based in Chennai, India. The following summer, Shopko opened its first two Shopko Hometown stores, which were converted from Pamida locations. The following year, Shopko placed even more emphasis on its Hometown subsidiary, opening nine new locations and closing regular stores to focus on the Hometown stores. About half a decade after it spun off from Shopko, Pamida merged with Shopko; all Pamida stores were rebranded as Shopko Hometown stores. The total cost for the remodel was estimated at $80 million. Later in 2012, W. Paul Jones resigned from the company's top post and Mike Bettiga took over as interim CEO. About a year later, Peter McMahon was named Shopko's new CEO. Due to bankruptcy, Shopko acquired 20 ALCO Stores locations in 2015 with the plan of converting them to Hometown locations. Shopko also changed its slogan to "The Stuff that Counts". Late in 2016, Shopko closed four stores due to poor sales but also opened one in Ely, Nevada. The firm also remodeled its larger stores in late 2016 and early 2017 to include some groceries, but no perishable goods. It launched its first credit card in November 2016. Debtwire reported in December 2018 that Shopko was considering restucturing. On December 4, 2018 the firm confirmed that they were closing 39 stores.
The company operates over 360 stores in 25 states including, but not limited to, California, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Stores are typically placed in small to mid-sized communities. Most Shopko stores are located in strip malls, shopping malls, power centers, or freestanding locations. Shopko, with partnerships from Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Bellin Health and other local hospitals, also operates walk-in clinics inside its stores called FastCare.
Past slogans include "Say hello to a good buy at ShopKo", "ShopKo discounts the price...not the quality.", "We won't be undersold.", "ShopKo: Discover for Yourself", "ShopKo - The Store for You.", "ShopKo - Your Lifestyle, Your Pricestyle.", "Shopko - Neat stuff, neat store." and "My life...my style...my store". Shopko introduced its slogan "The Stuff that Counts" in 2015. The slogan for Shopko Express pharmacy is "Every day. On your way."
Shopko Express (stylized as Shopko EXP℞ESS) is a chain of pharmacies owned by Shopko. Shopko Express carries a limited selection of general merchandise, groceries, beer, wine, health and beauty supplies, and over-the-counter medicines. Shopko Express also carries lottery tickets.
In 2012 Shopko acquired Pamida and all former Pamida locations now operate as Shopko Hometown stores. Shopko Hometown stores are aimed at smaller communities ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 in population. They carry about 70% of the merchandise of Shopko's larger stores. The first two stores opened in 2010 in Oconto, Wisconsin and Kewaunee, Wisconsin inside converted Pamida locations. The newest of the stores opened in Tomahawk, Wisconsin and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin on November 2013. In 2015, 20 locations were acquired from the bankrupt ALCO Stores chain, and were converted into Shopko Hometown stores.
In 1999, Shopko signed a contract with Payless ShoeSource, leasing the floorspace to the shoe chain within Shopko stores, replacing the previous contract with J. Baker, Inc. as the retailer in charge of the discount shoe department. The changeover was completed by late June 2000.
Private label brands
Shopko sells an assortment of private label store brand products, primarily in apparel and general merchandise. Popular brands include Shopko, Willow Bay, Bailey's Point, NorthCrest, Energy Zone, Soft Sensations, Peanut & Ollie and Green Soda.
- Venture (most locations, only one Shopko location still open from the Venture Stores acquisition, located in Dubuque, Iowa.)
- Shopko Hometown
- P.M. Place/Place's
Distribution and transportation is managed by Spectrum America Supply Chain Solutions, a subsidiary of Metro Supply Chain group created in 2016. Shopko's distribution centers are located in De Pere, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska, and Boise, Idaho.
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