Sunday, August 30, 2009

Say hello to a good blog about ShopKo at BlogKo!






I'd like to introduce you to my relaunched blog a revised article on the history of ShopKo. Currently the nation's largest regional retailer, ShopKo was established in 1961 by pharmacist James Ruben, formerly of Chicago, Illinois, who had envisioned a discount store combined with a pharmacy and eye care center. ShopKo was originally going to be called Shopco, but the name was changed immediately following his announcement. The first ShopKo location opened in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Military Avenue in 1962. ShopKo opened its second Green Bay location on the east side on Main Street (later Copps Food Center, torn down for new location) in 1966, which moved to its current location on East Mason Street next to East Town Mall in 1988. In 1971, ShopKo announced plans to merge with SuperValu of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The merger lasted until 1997, when the buy-back from SuperValu was completed. That same year, ShopKo's corporate headquarters opens on Pilgrim Way in Ashwaubenon. ShopKo's primary rivals from their beginnings in the 1960s to the 1990s were Kmart, Copps Discount Stores, and the H.C. Prange-owned Prange Way, who wound up in a discounter tug-of-war with ShopKo in much of the 1970s, 1980s, and up until their demise in the mid 1990s. In 1979, ShopKo opens its Ashwaubenon store on Oneida Street. This location is part of a shopping center known as Bay Park Square which has been set to open in fall 1980. ShopKo teamed up wtith SuperValu to open up a hypermarket, called Twin Valu, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Twin Valu was similar to Wal-Mart's Hypermart-USA and Supercenter concepts, as it contained general merchandise on one end, and groceries on the other. When ShopKo opened its 100th store in 1990, ShopKo became a publicly held company. Competition from other retailers like Wal-Mart and Target soon followed when ShopKo expanded outside of the Midwest. In 1991, ShopKo introduced a new merchandising strategy, Vision 2000, as well a new logo, which utilizes the Crillee Extra Bold Italic font, as well as the colors, red white, and blue. In 1996, ShopKo announced a deal to merge with Youngstown, Ohio-based PharMor, which fell apart in 1997. ShopKo went back into expansion mode when they bought out Penn-Daniels Inc., owner of Jacks Discount Stores. ShopKo enters a few new markets with the acquisition of many former Venture locations in 1998. In late 1999, ShopKo opens up a new prototype store in Meridian, Idaho, a suburb of Boise. ShopKo opened its first stand alone pharmacy, ShopKo Express, in Ledgeview, Wisconsin in 2003. In 2005, all three Colorado locations close, and two of the tree have been converted to JCPenney. In 2007, ShopKo introduces a new logo, sans the CamelCase "K", and a prototype store in Suamico, Wisconsin, which opened in 2008, featuring a slew of new features, such as smaller checkouts.

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