Our History: Shopko

Our History

Shopko was founded in 1962 by pharmacist James Ruben. When Ruben opened the first Shopko store in Green Bay in 1962, he envisioned a company focused on quality, convenience and value. He saw the opportunity to combine health care services with a large discount store, and in 1971 Shopko became one of the first mass retailers to feature a pharmacy in its stores. In another innovative step, Shopko added optical care centers to its stores in 1978. Today Shopko is known for its excellence in optical care and its best in class pharmacy services.

In 1991, Shopko Stores, Inc. became a publicly-held, independent company with stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SKO”. In December of 2005, Shopko Stores, Inc. was purchased by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm, and is no longer a publicly owned corporation.

In 2010, Shopko introduced a new retail concept to augment Shopko’s larger store format: Shopko Hometown. The Shopko Hometown retail format offers a differentiated and financially successful merchandising strategy. Shopko Hometown combines pharmacy services and a comprehensive HBA, household goods and dry grocery assortment with a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home goods, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, and lawn and garden products – all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format that range in size from 15,000 – 35,000 square feet.

Following its merger with Pamida in early 2012, Shopko acquired and converted over 170 stores and pharmacies to the Shopko brand.

Shopko stores deliver a great customer experience. Clean, spacious and well-lit, the easy to shop stores offer friendly service and on-trend, quality merchandise. Shopko carries name brands such as Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Kitchen Aid, Fisher-Price, Gloria Vanderbilt and Sony. Shopko’s popular private label brands include Willow Bay, Bailey's Point, NorthCrest, Energy Zone, Soft Sensations, Peanut & Ollie and Green Soda.

Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC is now a $3 billion retailer that operates over 330 stores in 21 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 134 Shopko stores, providing quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in small to mid-sized cities; 176 Shopko Hometown locations, a smaller concept store developed to meet the needs of smaller communities; 5 Shopko Express Rx stores, a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept; and 18 Shopko Pharmacy locations.



  • Shopko merges with Pamida Stores to become one of the largest U.S. retailers focused on serving smaller, rural communities


  • W. Paul Jones succeeds Michael R. MacDonald as Chairman and CEO
  • Shopko opens fourth opens prototype store in Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Shopko's prototype store design won first place in Chain Store Age's 2008 Retail Store of the Year design competition in the Discount Store/Mass Merchant category


  • Shopko opens second and third prototype stores on the same day in Sussex, WI and North Branch, MN
  • Shopko opens three Shopko Express stores - two in the Appleton area and another in downtown Green Bay
  • Shopko opens first prototype store in Suamico, Wisconsin


  • New Shopko logo and "my life. my style. my store." tag line introduced
  • Shopko announces 80,000 sq ft prototype retail store to open in 2008


  • Shopko announces the appointment of Michael R. MacDonald as Chairman and CEO


  • Shopko Stores, Inc. acquired by Sun Capital Partners, Inc.
  • Shopko opens three Shopko Express Rx neighborhood drug stores in northeast Wisconsin


  • Shopko consolidates Pamida and Shopko Omaha, NE, distribution centers, 535,000 sq. ft.


  • Shopko announces freestanding drug store prototype to open in 2005


  • Sam Duncan named President and Chief Executive Officer


  • Shopko Stores Inc. sales exceed $3.5 billion
  • Jack Eugster named Chairman of the Board
  • Shopko opens new state-of-the-art distribution center in Omaha, NE, 394,000 sq. ft.


  • Shopko Boise, Idaho, distribution center expands to 347,000 sq. ft.
  • Shopko DePere, WI, distribution center expands to 494,000 sq. ft.
  • Merck acquires ProVantage


  • Shopko acquires Pamida Holding Co., a retailer operating 148 discount stores in small rural markets
  • William Podany succeeds Dale Kramer as President and CEO


  • Shopko acquires Penn-Daniels Inc., a retailer operating 18 Jacks discount stores
  • Shopko repurchases 8.2 million shares of common stock from SUPERVALU to become an independent corporation
  • Surpasses $2 billion in sales (130 stores)


  • Shopko President and CEO Dale Kramer named "Retailer of the Year"


  • Shopko receives national "Discounter in Service to the Community" award


  • Shopko Boise, Idaho, distribution center expanded to 214,000 sq. ft.


  • Dale Kramer succeeds William Tyrrell as president
  • Shopko spun-off by SUPERVALU and becomes independent, publicly owned company with initial public offering of 32 million shares of stock
  • Shopko launches Vision 2000 merchandising strategy


  • Shopko opens 100th store


  • Shopko President and CEO William Tyrrell named "Retailer of the Year"


  • Present corporate headquarters building opens in Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Surpasses $1 billion in sales (87 stores)
  • Shopko opens seven stores in Utah


  • Shopko opens distribution center in Boise, Idaho, 80,000 sq. ft.
  • Shopko moves into Montana and Idaho


  • Shopko opens distribution center in Omaha, Nebraska, 32,000 sq. ft.


  • Shopko opens centralized optical lab


  • Shopko opens 30th store


  • Shopko opens first optical center


  • Shopko surpasses $100 million in sales (21 stores)


  • Distribution center opens in Green Bay, Wisconsin, 66,000 sq. ft.


  • William Tyrrell succeeds James Ruben as president


  • Shopko opens its 10th store
  • Shopko opens the first in-store pharmacy
  • Shopko merges with SUPERVALU Inc., a Minneapolis-based grocery wholesale company


  • Shopko enters a second state, opening a store in Marquette, Michigan


  • First Shopko store opens in Green Bay, Wisconsin


  • Shopko Stores, Inc. organized in Chicago by James Ruben