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Shopko opens its doors

The new Shopko Hometown store in the former Pamida building will hold it's grand opening Aug. 9. Sonja Peterson.

The new Shopko store in Two Harbors will open next Thursday after months of preparation.

The new store is the result of a merger between Pamida and Shopko announced in January. It was one of over 170 locations chosen to be converted after the merger.

Pamida had a four-month long liquidation sale beginning in April. In the last month, merchandise was restocked, signs were changed, and the interior was updated. It was open during most of the remodeling.

"The really big change is in the merchandise mix," Shopko spokeswoman Tara Powers said. The new store will carry national brands that Pamida hasn't had in the past.

There will also be some cosmetic changes. "The store layout will be changed, and there'll be new paint, carpet, and fixtures," Powers said. The store will have the "Shopko Hometown" format, which is geared toward smaller communities.

Shopko will continue to employ the same staff members from before the merger. Powers said no new hires had been made.

"There has been a great deal of excitement in the community through the conversion process and we're excited to finally be bringing the Shopko Hometown experience to Two Harbors," said Paul Jones, Shopko President, Chairman and CEO, in a statement on Tuesday.

A grand opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, with a ribbon-cutting at 8:45 a.m. before the doors open for the first time at nine. The first 100 customers will receive $10 gift cards, and there will be a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree.

The Shopko Foundation will also present a check for $2,500 to Two Harbors High School. Powers said the grants will be part of grand opening ceremonies for all of the converted Shopkos.