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 Pamida's History

In 1948, Jim Witherspoon and Lee Wegener began operating a "service merchandiser" business. Through this business, 22 salespeople provided supermarkets across a 5-state area with health and beauty aids, house wares, records and tapes, and some soft lines items.
Based on the concept of operating an "outlet" store for the products offered to the supermarkets, Witherspoon and Wegener opened their first retail store as part of the Gibson Products Company in Knoxville, Iowa, in November of 1963. The store did so well that another location was opened in nearby Oskaloosa, Iowa, just 2 weeks later. This rapid growth pattern continued as Witherspoon and Wegener expanded their concept into small towns throughout the Midwest and west central United States. In the late 1970s, the relationship with Gibsons ended, and the Pamida name began appearing on the stores.

The Pamida name has an interesting origin. It represents the first two letters of the first names of Witherspoon's three sons, Pat, Mike, and David. Pamida stores are generally located in county seat towns with populations ranging from 3,000 to 8,000 people. The stores carry both hard lines and soft lines categories of merchandise as well as seasonal items. The company also operates its own Pharmacy division.

In 1981, Witherspoon and Wegener sold Pamida to the team members; then, in 1986, CitiCorp Capital Investors, Ltd. acquired a principal financial interest in the company. During the late 1980s, Pamida modernized the merchandising layout of its stores, converting them to a racetrack prototype with a special emphasis on apparel categories. Pamida also installed POS technology into all of its stores.

In 1999, ShopKo Stores, Inc., a fortune 500 company headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., purchased Pamida and began operating the company as a separate division.

In 2005, ShopKo Stores, Inc. was purchased by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm. For more information on Sun Capital Partners, visit its Web site at

Pamida's success is based on several basic principles: merchandise variety, outstanding value, and fast, friendly customer service. These factors are as important today as they have been for the past three decades. Pamida's future looks bright. With a new vision, strong leadership, and sound financial and merchandising strategies, Pamida's history will continue to unfold well into the 21st Century.

Pamida's Mission

Our mission is to be the leading retailer in smaller communities. We will respond to our customers' needs by providing the selection, quality, value and commitment to satisfaction that our customers require, thus creating lasting customer loyalty. We believe that success depends on our ability to listen and learn from our three greatest assets: our customers, our team members and our vendor partners.

We believe that our team members must be developed and empowered to reach their fullest potential. Together we will form a united, powerful and synergistic group which will directly influence the success of our Company, both today and in the future.

We believe that a spirit of integrity and pride must prevail in all aspects of our internal and external business. We, as team member's must continually look to and take action toward improving every process within our Company. Meaningful decisions will include the questions: "how will this impact our customers?" and "how will this decision impact my fellow team members?", before a course is pursued. We must focus on how change can and will mutually benefit the Company and how change can and will help us obtain our overall goals. We will recognize performance and reward successful contribution.

We believe that steady growth involves the timely seizure of appropriate opportunities and in the engagement of calculated risks. We further believe that timely informed decisions lead to Company profitability. This profitability benefits our customers, our shareholders, our vendor partners, and ultimately our future.


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2100 E Cedar * Rawlins, WY 82301 * 307.324.3491

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