A lot of times when there's a merger it's not good news for a community - particularly smaller communities such as Estherville. But that's certainly not the case for Shopko's acquisition of Pamida, including the store in Estherville.
In fact, it's great news.
For several years now, Estherville residents have wished they had a Target store - something with mid-scale merchandise, including larger consumer items and an expanded electronics section. The Shopko merger with Pamida is a big step in that direction, and Estherville will see a lot of changes this summer when the Pamida stock is cleared out to make way for more brands and a wider selection.
Some of the best news is that the current staff will remain. And that's sending a great message to the residents of Estherville.
This is a good time, too, to thank manager Tom Hayenga and Steve Koenen before him for running a first-rate operation. Quite frankly, there were times when having more than one discount store in Estherville seemed pretty iffy. But Hayenga and Koenen - and the Pamida team - toughed it out and gave Estherville residents what they needed - good products and service at very reasonable prices. And huge thanks need to the Pamida Foundation for giving generously to area schools through the years.
As Estherville emerges from a very tough recession, it will be nice to have a store with expanded selections that will give people one more great reason for shopping Estherville. Having a Shopko in Estherville will also draw more people to the community where they can also shop in other stores, eat in our restaurants, go the a movie and enjoy our parks.
The merger is a big plus for Estherville - one for which we should be happy.
Shopko will no doubt play a key role in Estherville as a community member as well as a business. So let's be sure to welcome them, and wish them the best.