If you build it, they will come. That is what the owners of Shopko believed when they first contacted Boundary County Economic Development in 2012. And now, four years later, that vision has come to fruition with the recent opening of Shopko Hometown on the south side of Bonners Ferry.
According to Dennis Weed, the director for Boundary County Economic Development, Shopko looked beyond the local population to determine whether the area could sustain a new store.
“In their initial study, the Shopko organization felt like there was not enough retail customers in the area to support a store,” explained Weed who added that the corporation gathers their own marketing data to determine where to construct their stores and then makes inquiries to those communities. “Later studies showed there were enough customers going through the area to support a store here.”
A significant part of those studies showed that the amount of Canadian traffic traveling through Bonners Ferry coupled with many who have relocated to Boundary County in recent years convinced Shopko that it made sense to bring the retail store to our area.
“We are eager to bring Shopko Hometown to communities who are underserved by retailers. Shopko Hometown is close to home and simple to navigate – providing a convenient place to get everything you need without the hassle,” said Michelle Hansen, Manager of Public Relations and the Shopko Foundation.
The approximately 20,000 square foot store will employ roughly 30 employees, both full and part-time, giving a boost to employment in our local economy. But not only will it have a significant impact on jobs, but in dollars spent locally as well.
“We expect $10 million to $15 million dollars of retail leakage will now stay in the area,” said Weed.
As a Shopko Hometown store, Hansen said the retailer combines pharmacy services and a broad and dynamic offering of national brands and private label brands at a great value.
“The new store will provide shoppers ultimate convenience, with product offerings including clothing, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, everyday consumable items and lawn and garden products – all in an attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format,” said Hansen.
Locate in both small towns and large cities throughout the country, Hansen said Shopko is committed to giving back to the communities where they are privileged to serve.
“Through the Shopko Foundation, Shopko Hometown supports schools and non-profit organizations which offersgrants to support the health and education of Shopko Hometown customers, teammates and communities,” said Hansen adding that over the last 36 years Shopko and the Shopko Foundation have awarded grants totaling over $31 million.
Shopko Hometown also sponsors local events and activities that are important to the community. “Community engagement is an important part of the culture at Shopko, and we encourage all teammates to give back and support organizations in the communities in which we live and work,” said Hansen. “Shopko Hometown is thrilled to be a part of the Bonners Ferry community.”
Stop in and see all that Bonners Ferry’s latest retail store has to offer!