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ROS: 'Restore Our Store' idea of letter campaign about Ellsworth Shopko

ROS: 'Restore Our Store' idea of letter campaign to Shopko

By Bill Kirk

That "big box" retailer on Ellsworth's northwest side may look the same on the outside as when it originally opened four years ago, but the inside is very different.

The Pamida in the village's Crossing Meadows development was initially a discount merchandise store containing a pharmacy. Last year, the outlet was changed to a Pamida Pharmacy Plus, retaining that aspect and a few amenities while emptying the remainder of the premises.

This year, more change is in the offing, as Green Bay-based Shopko is merging with Omaha, Neb.-based Pamida and converting the latter's 350 locations to a format of the former. Since the merger was officially announced, most everyone from local leaders to employees have understood the chosen format for Ellsworth's site, like the rest, was to be what's called Shopko Hometown.

The assumption is the store would revert to a full-fledged discount merchandiser--smaller than regular Shopkos, yet beyond only a pharmacy. The advertised items of the bigger counterparts would presumably be honored.

Lately, however, some interests here would like to guarantee this is actually the plan. Because the future of this significant retailer could impact the fate of the development, village officials are recommending a public letter-writing campaign of support.

Writers should address such letters to: Joe Kucharski, VP of Real Estate, Shopko Stores, 700 Pilgrim Way, P.O. Box 19060, Green Bay, WI 54307-9060.

Read more in the print version of the Herald June 13.