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Shopko, Pamida merger finalized

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The merger between two of the nation's leading Midwest-based general merchandise retail chains, Shopko and Pamida, is now complete, creating one of the largest U.S. retailers focused on serving smaller, rural communities.

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With nearly $3 billion in annual revenues, the combined entity, which is retaining the Shopko name, features nearly 350 locations in 22 states with more than 20,000 employees. Financial details of the merger were not disclosed.

Shopko will be headquartered in Green Bay and Pamida's corporate headquarters in Omaha will be consolidated into the Green Bay office over the next several months. Shopko President, Chairman and CEO W. Paul Jones will retain his position, providing leadership for the combined company. Pamida CEO John Harlow will serve on the leadership team and help direct the integration process.

"A great deal of work and planning was required to get us to this point, and we're excited that the merger is now complete so we can begin to move forward as one organization," said Jones. "Our aim is to combine the best of both companies as we become one Shopko team with a shared vision to become the nation's leading general merchandise retailer focused on serving smaller communities across the country with our Shopko Hometown store format."

Shopko also announced the conversion plans for Pamida stores. The company announced that the Pamida stores will be converted to the Shopko Hometown store format by the end of 2012. As part of the continual review process, the company has identified six stores that will not go through conversion and will be closed in August.

The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed over the past three years to augment Shopko's larger store model, offers a differentiated and financially successful merchandising strategy. Shopko Hometown combines pharmacy services with a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products - all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store formats that range from 15,000 to 35,000-square-feet.

Shopko announced approximately $80 million will be invested into Pamida store conversions which will begin in June and occur in phases through the end of the year.

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