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Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC
Industry Retail
Founded April 5, 1962
Headquarters Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
Number of locations
357 (July 2015)
Area served

Shopko: California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin

Shopko Express: Wisconsin

Shopko Hometown: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming
Key people
James Ruben, founder
Peter McMahon, CEO
Products Clothing, footwear, bedding, furniture, jewelry, beauty products, electronics, market, housewares, contact lenses.
Owner Sun Capital Partners
Number of employees
Slogan The Stuff that Counts.

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 where 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.[citation needed] The name was later[when?] changed to "ShopKo" by dropping the "c" and replacing it with an uppercase "K". In 2007, the logo was updated and the spelling was changed to "Shopko" with a lower case "k". Shopko Express stores retained the older style logo until fall 2008, when a new store in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin was opened.



  • March 1961: Green Bay Mayor Roman Denissen and Shopco Stores, led by Chicago pharmacist James Ruben and a group of investors, announce plans for a $1 million department store on Military Avenue.
  • April 1962: The first ShopKo (the spelling was changed since the initial announcement) opens at 216 S. Military Ave. A local grocery store, Sure Way (later acquired by the Jubilee Foods chain) shares part of the building until its closure in 2004.
  • July 1966: ShopKo East opens at 1819 Main St.
  • September 1969: First Shopko store in Michigan opens on Washington St. in Marquette


  • June 1970: Ruben announces plans for corporate headquarters on Ashland Avenue in Ashwaubenon.
  • June 1970: ShopKo Corp. becomes ShopKo Stores, Inc.
  • January 1971: ShopKo announces plans to merge with SuperValu of Minneapolis.
  • January 1971: New Ashwaubenon headquarters opens.
  • April 1971: Merger with SuperValu is completed.
  • August 1971: Company announces plans to start putting pharmacies in its stores.
  • September 1972: William Tyrrell is named the new president; Ruben left Green Bay to become group vice president and director of SuperValu Stores.
  • 1977: With 21 stores, ShopKo exceeds $100 million in sales.
  • 1978: Expansion of Ashland Avenue headquarters.
  • 1978: ShopKo opens its first optical center.
  • November 1979: New Ashwaubenon store opens a few months before the opening of Bay Park Square shopping center.


  • 1981: Second expansion of Ashland Avenue headquarters.
  • 1981: ShopKo opens its 30th store.
  • 1984: Company begins looking for new space for corporate offices; De Pere, Green Bay and out-of-state sites are under consideration.
  • May 1986: ShopKo announces it will stay headquartered in the Green Bay area.
  • 1987: Construction begins on new headquarters on 46-acre (190,000 m2) site just east of Bay Park Square; the building opens in 1988.
  • June 1988: ShopKo opens 7 new stores in Utah, located in Sandy, Murray, Taylorsville, Provo, Ogden, Layton, and West Jordan.[1]
  • 1988: With 87 stores, the company exceeds $1 billion in sales.
  • 1988: ShopKo announces a new east-side store will go in at East Town Mall, replacing the 1819 Main St. store. The Main St. location was later home to Copps Food Center which operated at this location from the early 1990s to August 5, 2008 and is replaced with a new store on the site of the former Marcus Cinema movie theater located next door. The former ShopKo/Copps building is expected to be replaced with a Planet Fitness by 2011.
  • February 1989: ShopKo and SuperValu introduce Twin Valu, a hypermarket concept, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio that combines the general merchandise of ShopKo with the grocery selection of Cub Foods.


  • 1990: ShopKo opens its 100th store.
  • 1990: ShopKo opens its first and only location in California, in Redding, California on 55 Lake Boulevard.
  • June 1991: SuperValu announces ShopKo will spin off as a publicly held company.
  • Summer 1991: Dale Kramer becomes the company's third president.
  • October 1991: In an initial public offering, ShopKo stock is offered at $15 a share.
ShopKo's "Vision 2000" logo used from December 1991 to May 2007. Shopko still uses this logo on some locations.
  • December 1991: ShopKo introduces its "Vision 2000" prototype store. The new style incorporates a red, white, and blue logo using a variant of the Crillee font,[2] replaces orange with gray as a base color, and uses red and navy blue as accent colors. The "Vision 2000" prototypes 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.[3][4]
  • September 1996: A merger is announced with Phar-Mor of Youngstown, Ohio.
  • 1997: ShopKo acquires Penn-Daniels Inc., a retailer operating 18 Jacks Discount Stores.
  • April 1997: Phar-Mor deal falls apart.
  • April 1997: ShopKo announces it will secure independence from SuperValu by buying back the other company's 46 percent share of ShopKo stock.
  • July 1997: Buy-back from SuperValu completed.
  • November 1997: ShopKo bans all tobacco products, including cigarettes, from its stores.
  • 1998: ShopKo enters new markets formerly served by Venture Stores by buying up most of their former locations in Kentucky, and Iowa, as well as two stores in Kansas, three in Missouri and a small handful in Illinois. Those locations were leased from Kimco Realty.
  • March 1999: William Podany becomes president and chief executive officer.
  • March 1999: ShopKo announces record earnings for 1998 — earning $55.6 million or $2.23 per share.
  • May 1999: ShopKo announces it will buy the 147-store Pamida chain for $375 million.
  • July 1999: ShopKo begins selling stock for ProVantage, a prescription benefits company that helped spur ShopKo's growth.
  • September 1999: ShopKo opens its first test prototype store in Meridian, Idaho, nicknamed "Beyond 2000," referencing ShopKo's then-new Beyond 2000 merchandising strategy, the successor to the Vision 2000 strategy of the early 1990s.


  • March 2000: ShopKo reports record earnings of $3.57 per share in 2000, up 70% from the year before.
  • May 2000: ShopKo announces it will sell ProVantage to Merck & Co. for about $222 million.
  • January 2001: ShopKo announces it will close 23 stores and cut 2,500 jobs, including 136 at corporate headquarters. ShopKo exits the Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, and Kentucky markets. ShopKo also closes the distribution center in Quincy, Illinois.
  • April 2002: Podany resigns as president and CEO; Jeffrey Girard replaces him on an interim basis.
  • October 2002: Sam Duncan becomes president and CEO.
  • January 2005: ShopKo opens three ShopKo Express stores, smaller stores competing with Walgreens and CVS/pharmacy.
  • July 2005: ShopKo closes its Colorado stores.
  • November 2005: The ShopKo stores in Reno, Nevada close because of a poor economic climate.
  • December 2005: ShopKo is acquired by private investment group Sun Capital Partners.
  • May 2006: Michael R. MacDonald becomes CEO.
  • 2007: Pamida was spun off to form a separate company, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, still owned by the same investment group.
  • May 2007: Ground breaking begins on a new 80,000 ft (24,000 m).2 Shopko store to anchor the Urban Edge retail/entertainment development in Suamico, Wisconsin. A new Shopko logo is introduced. The new logo replaces the one used since 1991. The company also dropped the 'CamelCase K' in its logo after 45 years.
  • September 2007: Shopko began construction on two new Shopko Express stores in the Appleton, Wisconsin area, which opened in July 2008
  • March 2008: Shopko opens its Suamico, Wisconsin location. Shopko announces an 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) prototype store in Iowa and an 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) store to anchor the Market Place in North Branch, Minnesota. Shopko announces a Shopko Express Pharmacy location for downtown Green Bay.
  • November 3, 2008: Shopko Express opens its downtown Green Bay location.
  • April 3, 2009: Michael MacDonald resigns as chairman and CEO, to become chairman and CEO of DSW. W. Paul Jones takes over.
  • October 27, 2009: Shopko announces the closing of its first and only urban Shopko Express Rx location in Green Bay, Wisconsin, almost a year after it opened.[5]
  • November 2009: Shopko introduces online shopping to its website.




Current store facade at Houghton, Michigan location.
The first Shopko store in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the marker commemorating its status.
The 1999 "Beyond 2000" prototype store in Meridian, Idaho.

The company operates over 360 stores in 24 states including, but not limited to, California, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, 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.

Shopko has distribution centers in De Pere, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska and Boise, Idaho.

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 the Difference", "ShopKo: The store for you.", "ShopKo - Your Lifestyle, Your Pricestyle.", "Neat stuff, neat store." and "My store". Shopko introduced its slogan "The Stuff that Counts" in 2015. The slogan for Shopko Express pharmacy is "Every day. On your way."[citation needed]

Shopko also sponsors the exhibition hall venue portion of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena/Resch Center complex, which is known as Shopko Hall.[13]


Shopko Express[edit]

Shopko Express 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.

Shopko Hometown[edit]

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.[7] 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.[14]

Payless ShoeSource[edit]

Main article: Payless ShoeSource

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 to Payless was completed by late June 2000.


  • Shopko
    • Penn-Daniels/Jack's
    • Venture (most locations, only one still open, located in Dubuque, Iowa.)
  • Shopko Hometown
    • Pamida
    • ALCO
    • P.M. Place/Place's


Shopko's distribution centers are located in De Pere, Wisconsin, Omaha, Nebraska, and Boise, Idaho.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]