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Midwest-based retailer Shopko is planning significant expansion through 2016, including growth of its Shopko Hometown banner that includes an enhanced grocery selection beyond what's available in its regular general merchandise format.
Shopko plans to open 20 new Hometown stores throughout nine states later this month in locations previously operated by Alco Stores Inc. The Shopko Hometown format, developed over the past five years to augment Shopko’s larger store model and focus on serving the needs of smaller rural communities, provides a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, grocery department and lawn and garden products, in a store format that ranges from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.
“We’re eager to get the Alco store conversion process underway and start to bring Shopko Hometown to more communities,” said CEO Peter McMahon. “We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers in our current hometown communities who tell us they appreciate the improved shopping experience and access to a broader, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community.”
Expanded grocery selection
While Shopko Hometown stores carry fewer items in housewares, clothing and electronics than larger Shopko stores, Hometown Stores have considerably larger grocery selections, including more canned goods, baking supplies, dairy, frozen foods, coffee selection and Mexican food. Overall, Hometown stores carry about 70 percent of the merchandise of larger stores and are aimed at smaller communities with populations of 3,000 to 8,000 people. The first two Hometown stores opened in 2010 in Oconto and Kewaunee, Wis., inside converted Pamida locations.
The new Hometown locations scheduled to open this month are in Burlington, Colo.; DeMotte, Ind.; Abilene, Beloit and Ulysses, Kan.; Mahnomen and Moose Lake, Minn.; Wolf Point, Mont.; Bowman, New Town, Oakes, Rolla and Tioga, N.D.;Mobridge, S.D.; Andrews, Dalhart, Kermit, Monahans and Perryton, Texas; and Moab, Utah.
Conversion to Shopko Hometown will include a mix of new interior and exterior signage, carpet, paint, updated and supplement fixtures and lighting, improved store design and layout, as well as an expanded merchandise mix. Once the addition of these 20 stores is complete, the company plans to accelerate the addition of new Shopko Hometown stores in the second half of 2015 and into 2016. There will be no change to Shopko’s current 178 Hometown stores.
An affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., Green Bay, Wis.-based Shopko Stores Operating Co. operates 320 stores in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 133 Shopko stores; five Shopko Express Rx stores, a neighborhood drugstore concept; four Shopko Pharmacy locations; and 178 Shopko Hometown stores.