by nathan oster
Hello, Shopko Hometown.
That’s the word from Andy Smith, who has managed the Pamida store and will carry the same title during and after the conversion to the Shopko Hometown, which is expected to be completed by the middle of October.
“Saturday afternoon, we will be closing up for good (as a Pamida store),” said Smith. “We’ll clear out the rest of the merchandise that hasn’t sold and it’ll be shipped out. And at that point, we’ll start switching over, network wise, to Shopko.”
The store will be closed on Sunday.
It will reopen Monday — but on a very limited basis, as only the pharmacy will be open. “We won’t have any merchandise to sell,” Smith said. The first semi-load of merchandise is expected to arrive the middle of next week.
According to a company release, the conversion to Shopko Hometown will include new interior and exterior signage, carpet, paint, updated and supplement fixtures and lighting and a new easy-to-shop store layout. Each of the store’s three primary departments will be converted one department at a time with each department opening to shoppers as soon as it’s complete.
The first department to be converted will be Consumables, which includes health and beauty, over the counter, candy, beverages and snacks. The department will open to the public by Sept. 23, followed by the Home department which will open no later than Oct. 7. The Home department includes sporting goods, electronics, housewares, toys and domestics. The final department to convert is Apparel which will open by Oct. 14.
“Since our merger with Pamida early this year, we’ve converted 45 Pamida stores to the Shopko Hometown format,” said Paul Jones, Shopko President, Chairman and CEO. “The response from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled to be just weeks away from introducing this retail concept to Greybull.”
Smith predicts that customers will love the new floor plan and the offerings from Shopko.
The clearance sale at Pamida, which concludes on Saturday, has gone “very well,” according to Smith, who estimated that only about “25 to 30 percent” of the store’s inventory remained on the shelves when this week began.
“It’s been a wild but it’s been good,” said Smith, when asked how the transition has been going. “We’ve been extremely busy. Our team (of 11 mostly full-time employees) has stepped it up a notch. We’ve got an excellent team anyway. But they’ve all really done a good job (during this period).”
Those same people will be heavily leaned on in the weeks ahead. The store is planning a grand opening for the Shopko Hometown store on Oct. 18.
“We’ve got four weeks to reset the whole store,” said Smith.