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Pamida and Shopko to merge

Residents of Sparta, Michigan will see a popular business move out of town and its local employees laid-off due to a recent merger between two companies.

Pamida, a store that sells general merchandise, stands as the top retailer in the small Michigan village. However, Pamida's Sparta location will close its doors in August after the company, based out of state, is merging with Shopko Stores. The 10 employees that work at the Sparta location will be without work.

By combining with Shopko Stores, which also sells general merchandise, the two retailers create one larger company with the same general vision. All the Pamida locations that company officials chose to keep open will be turned into Shopko stores. The two companies employ 20,000 employees combined.

Just six of the current Pamida stores will be closing under the new arrangement, including the Sparta location. A manager with the Sparta location attributed the decision to sagging sales numbers for the store. In fact, management at the branch was not surprised at the news and were even bracing for it.

These thoughts were confirmed by Pamida CEO, who said the decision of which stores to close was difficult. He also said that the company decided to close down the Pamidas that were not performing well financially instead of investing money into revamping them as Shopko stores. The CEO said that closing down the six stores would ultimately benefit the merger company and put it in a position to grow in the future.

Beginning in May, the Pamidas that are going out of business will liquidate their inventory, which consists of everything from electronics and toys to clothes.

The end result of this merger is also a larger company that will continue to cater to rural towns throughout the country. Both stores combine to sell around $3 billion worth of merchandise annually. Between both stores, they have 350 locations that span 22 different states.

Source:, "Billion dollar retail merger costs northern Kent County town one of its biggest stores," Shandra Martinez, March 15, 2012

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