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ShopKo remains on growth path with 15 new stores opening in July

BY Antoinette Alexander

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Continuing its path of growth, Shopko announced on Tuesday the July opening of 15 new Shopko Hometown stores across eight states. 

The 15 new locations join 20 stores Shopko opened earlier this year and more than 15 additional stores the company plans to open in October. Grand openings are planned for July in the following locations:

  • Dillon, Mont.
  • Anthony, Kan.
  • Redfield, S.D.
  • Sidney, Mont.
  • Fairview, Okla.
  • Warroad, Minn.
  • Paynesville, Minn.
  • New Prague, Minn.
  • Milbank, S.D.
  • Wagner, S.D.
  • Webster, S.D.
  • Leadville, Colo.
  • Russell, Kan.
  • Lowell, Ind.
  • Lovington, N.M.

The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed over the past five years to focus on serving the needs of smaller rural communities, provides a broad offering of national brands and private label brands.  Product offerings include clothing, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items and lawn and garden products — all in a store format that ranges from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.

"We're eager to bring Shopko Hometown to more communities," said Peter McMahon, Shopko CEO.  "We've received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers in our current hometown communities who tell us they appreciate the improved shopping experience and access to a broader, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community."

Once the addition of these 15 stores is complete, the company plans to continue to accelerate the addition of new Shopko Hometown stores in the second half of 2015 and into 2016.
 

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Rite Aid’s Bill Bergin shares growth vision at Elevation Forum

BY DSN STAFF

HARRISBURG, Pa. — “Why do many higher level supplier engagements fail? You minimize your competitor’s advantages, an inability to manage risk and ineffective messaging or poor alignment. And all this is fueled by fear. Fear of the relationship getting unbalanced, unprofitable or fear of being surprised by bad news.”

That was the opening message shared by Elevation Forum founder and Mack Elevation Forum leader Dan Mack. Mack’s forum, is a group of senior-level sales and marketing executives from a number of high growth health, beauty and wellness companies looking for an edge.

On June 10, the forum group and keynote speaker, Rite Aid’s Group VP, Health and Beauty conveyed their current growth strategies including further loyalty innovation around their Wellness+ with Plenti. Rite Aid has partnered with some of the most highly respected companies in the country to prepare for the historic launch of Plenti, the first coalition loyalty program in the U.S. This ground-breaking enhancement allows members to earn and redeem savings across various brands and retailers, delivering a unique and innovative loyalty offering in the industry.

“We have transitioned from a turnaround to a growth story,” Bergin said. “We will continue to test, learn and create the format of the future.”

IRI’s SVP, mid-market, Larry Levin discussed three core joint business planning analytics worthy of integration into every manufacturer’s customer meetings. They include incorporating “Share Leakage Trees” and the impact of assortment optimization and winning the new item analytics. Levin reminded everyone, “real time insights for action and growth are the new rules of engagement. Think smart data, not big data.”

The second part of the forum focused on not fall prey to the seven deadly sins of higher level meeting engagements.

“It is so important to have an outward focus. Your job is to uncover hidden opportunities your customer may not even be aware of yet,” Mack said. “It is vital that you diagnosis the problem (or opportunity) then prescribe the correct solution in a story format. Then tie it to the customer’s boardroom agenda.”

The last forum event for 2015 will be in September with the Sam’s Club health and beauty team. Prior to that, Drug Store News and Mack Elevation Forum will co-produce the Elevation Summit — “9 Dangerous Growth Ideas” in August prior to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Total Store Expo. 

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Target CEO talks about new partnernship with CVS

BY DSN STAFF

Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell commented on the chain’s new partnership with CVS Health in a Q&A on Target’s blog, A Bullseye View. Here are some excerpts: 

Why isn’t Target investing its own resources in the in-store healthcare experience? Aren’t pharmacies and clinics an important part of delivering wellness for your guests?
Our current pharmacy and clinic businesses successfully drive traffic to our stores and receive favorable guest service scores. And we know guests appreciate the convenient access to healthcare services while making their Target run. That said, we also know wellness extends beyond healthcare and we believe this deal presents Target with an exciting opportunity.

Tapping an expert partner to operate pharmacies and clinics in our stores preserves its traffic-driving benefits and offers our guests access to proven, best-in-class services. Meanwhile, it gives Target greater bandwidth to focus on our strengths in product design, merchandising and marketing to grow Wellness as a signature category.  More and more, our guests want to lead healthy and active lifestyles, and they are thinking about wellness as part of everything they do.

 Moving forward, Target will focus on further strengthening our wellness offerings, giving guests more ways to eat well, be active and find natural and clean-label options – areas we know they are passionate about.

How will the co-development of stores work? And can you elaborate on these “new market offerings” you will explore with CVS Health?

CVS Health has a strong store development pipeline that includes great locations in communities ideally suited for small, flexible format stores. Target and CVS Health plan to carefully evaluate and select from sites in CVS Health’s current consideration set to jointly build five to 10 TargetExpress stores with a CVS/pharmacy inside. This will take place over a two year period following the deal close.

We have also agreed to explore a variety of future opportunities to collaborate with our guests’ needs in mind.

When will guests start to see changes?

This agreement has been approved by CVS Health management and by Target’s board of directors, and now requires regulatory approval. This process will take some time. Until then, it’s business as usual.

Both Target and CVS Health are committed to ensuring a smooth transition following the deal close, and look forward to sharing more with our guests when we can.

To read the full Q&A, click here.

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