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ShopKo is now part of an expanded chain of stores, but not much else should change for this store in River Falls. Phil Pfuehler photo

ShopKo and Pamida to merge

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Two of the nation's leading Midwest-based general merchandise retail chains, ShopKo Stores and Pamida, said they will merge to create one of the largest U.S. retail chains focused on serving smaller and rural communities. River Falls is the site of one of the 149 Shopkos located in 13 states.

According to a news release, the merged chain will have nearly 350 stores in 22 states with plans for more store growth coming later in 2012.

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