Holy cow, Ashley! Madison is going to get a new retailer! Shopko is coming to Madison!

Alas, it's coming by merging with Pamida and turning Pamida stores into "Shopko Hometown" stores:

Green Bay-based Shopko Stores and Pamida announced Wednesday they will merge and spend $80 million to convert existing Pamida stores to Shopko Hometown stores, which are smaller retail outlets typically found in communities of less than 10,000 people.

The company also said it plans to add five to seven Hometown stores in 2013 and up to 30 a year beginning in 2014.

None of the new stores would be larger-format stores like the Shopko stores found in the Madison area. Instead, they would range from 15,000 to 30,000 square feet and be located in more rural communities that are not typically served by other big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target [Barry Adams, "Merger with Pamida to Let Shopko Expand to Smaller Towns," Wisconsin State Journal, 2012.01.04].

That sounds just like the sort of smaller-scale big-chain store my friend Ashley Allen was hoping we could recruit to stimulate Madison retail. But the changeover doesn't appear to offer a ner gain. We'll see if Shopko can bring us any new merchandise offerings.

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