The opening of Shopko’s first store in Arizona on Friday, March 25, is the latest effort by the Green Bay, WI-based retailer to expand its reach into the Southwestern portion of the United States.
The debut of the Shopko Hometown store in Springerville, AZ, extends the retailer’s market beyond its recent and successful entry into Texas, Peter McMahon, Shopko CEO, told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®. Located about halfway between Flagstaff, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM, the Springerville grand opening is one of 10 Shopko has planned during the first half of 2016.
The other openings will be in Clarinda, IA, Cresco, IA, Vinton, IA, Phillipsburg, KS, Mayville, ND, Albion, NE, Beaver, UT, Comanche, TX, and Cotulla, TX. The company plans to open about 30 new Shopko Hometown stores this year.
McMahon said the smaller-sized Hometown concept is an important part of Shopko’s expansion strategy. Since joining Shopko two-and-a-half years ago, the former Walmart executive has focused on improving systems and distribution to create a store concept capable of offering a range of consumables and general merchandise that could satisfy customers in rural communities.
Shopko Hometown does so by providing both everyday necessities and branded housewares, such as Rachael Ray and Paula Deen cookware, that other smaller box retailers don’t have and that small-town consumers might otherwise have to drive many miles to purchase. ShopKo Hometown stores can merchandise 50,000 SKUs in stores that range from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.
“A difference for us,” McMahon said, “is we bring a lot of big brands into their home towns.”
Shopko operates 363 stores in 24 states throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions.