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Shopko Hosts More Than 500 at its Health Services Managers Conference

By Staff
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 12:15 PM


Three Shopko optical managers were recognized at the managers meeting for
achieving “Million Dollar Center” status. They are shown in the front row (l to r) Jill
Immel, Racine, Wis.; Crystal Pence, Monroe Wis., and Rebecca Barbeau, Kingsford, Mich.
Shopko team members in the second row are (l to r) James Radebaugh, Dr. Thomas Bobka,
Kirk Lauterback, John Burcham, Barb Demmerly, Dave McIlheran and Darren Singer.


Shopko regional optical supervisors,
shown making a presentation, are
(l to r) John Burcham, Barb Demmerly
and James Radebaugh.
GREEN BAY, Wis.—Shopko held its annual Health Services managers meeting in Minneapolis last month and used the occasion to honor several Shopko team members for their outstanding performances in 2016 and for senior management to outline the retailer’s plans for 2017 and the following years.

The meeting, which was attended by more than 500 Shopko executives across optical, pharmacy and corporate, marked the 20th anniversary of Shopko’s first-ever optical managers’ meeting. It was also the second consecutive year that the meeting was held in conjunction with the managers from Shopko Pharmacy.


The Shopko Optical leadership team with top-sales
award winner Kathie Doescher, Manitowoc, Wis., in the
front center of the photo. Also shown are (l to r) Dr.
Thomas Bobka, Barb Demmerly, Darren Singer, Ms.
Doescher in front, Kirk Lauterback, James Radebaugh,
John Burcham and Dave McIlheran, manager of the
optical lab.
“Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to recognize our excellent teams, help us plan for the ongoing growth of our centers and celebrate a record-setting sales year,” Shopko director of optical services Kirk Lauterback told VMail.

Among the highlights of the three-day event, which ran from March 4 through March 6, were the presentations of interim chief executive officer Julian Day, senior vice president of health and wellness Darren Singer and senior vice president of Shopko Hometown Derek Jenkins. The executives reviewed Shopko’s 2016 results and its plans for 2017 and beyond.

The afternoon of the meeting’s second day featured a trade show with 17 optical vendors exhibiting their products, including frames, lenses, contact lenses and OTC accessories, according to Lauterback. Sales and service award-winners and notable team anniversaries were recognized at a banquet later that evening.


A Shopko Eyecare Center with
the retailer’s updated colors
and design.
The final day of the event, which carried the theme “Giving Sight to Your Patients and Vision to Your Teams,” began with a leadership presentation and follow-up presentations by the conference Diamond (Carl Zeiss Vision and CooperVision) and Platinum (Nouveau Eyewear) sponsors.

Darren A. Singer, Shopko’s senior vice president for retail health & wellness, characterized 2016 as a “very good overall” year for the retailer. “Our comp-store sales and exam growth exceeded the industry average,” he noted, “and 2017 should be another year of solid sales growth.” Singer said one of Shopko’s key opportunities is to build its business “with new patients while continuing to retain our established patient base [by] offering a great mix of products, promotions and service.”

In addition, Lauterback said Shopko will utilize new exam technology, “a fresh frame assortment and the newest in both contact and ophthalmic lenses” as part of its growth strategy. “We will continue to stress having a good breadth of frame choices, from value through designer, and first-to-market lenses,” he said. “We have had a very successful multiple pair program, which we will continue to grow, and last but not least we will continue to increase our social media presence in conjunction with our strong promotional strategy [as we roll out] our plan in 2017."

Shopko operates 381 stores in 26 states throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 127 Shopko stores, which offer quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in small to mid-sized cities; five Shopko Express Rx stores (a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept); five Shopko Pharmacy locations; and 244 Shopko Hometown stores (a smaller concept store developed to meet the needs of smaller communities). There are 136 stores with optical centers, according to Lauterback.
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