By Jim Misunas
LARNED -- The Larned Pamida store will be transforming into a Shopko Hometown store.
Affiliates of a private investment company called Sun Capital Partners Inc. have decided to merge Shopko and Pamida and rename the stores as Shopko Hometown. Sun Capital is expected to invest $80 million to remodel most of the 193 Pamida locations.
Courtland Holman, Larned Chamber director, said the Larned store will be changed over to Shopko Hometown in the next few months in response to a question at the Chamber coffee Thursday. Shopko spokesperson Tara Powers confirmed the Larned location will be part of the changeover.
Over the past two years, Shopko acquired seven Pamida stores and did a trial run of this hometown model. The stores showed significant improvement in sales and profitability, according to Shopko officials. Shopko has $2 billion in annual sales, about double Pamida’s revenues.
“There have been some conversions on stores, which they did as an experiment,” Holman said.
Holman said it’s his understanding that Shopko Hometown will revamp Pamida’s product line to feature electronics, optometry, upscale clothing and name-brand shoes.
“If their product line is expanded, that would attract different clientele to town to shop,” Holman said.
Each conversion, one department at a time, will take six weeks. Store and pharmacies remain open during remodeling. The Pamida store in Lyons will also be part of the changeover.