New family-owned department store coming to Waupaca in spring
WAUPACA, Wis. (WBAY) - After sitting empty for nearly two years, Waupaca’s old Shopko building is showing new signs of life.
“It’s all hands-on deck right now and we’re getting there,” said Brianna Becker.
Becker will manage “Everyday Hometown”, a brand-new department store her family is opening this spring. Her parents, Jim and Kathy Becker, are the owners.
Initially it was intended as a place for her dad to expand his “Bad Boy Lawn Mower” brand while also offering Hardware Hank products, but Becker says the concept grew.
“It’s going to have hardware but much more,” said Becker. “So it’ll have clothing, sporting goods, housewares, a little bit of furniture, kind of everything. So basic department store, what Shopko kind of was.”
The 24-year-old is looking forward to the new business opportunity and has moved to Waupaca to run the store full-time.
“Being younger and having to do this from the ground up, it’s incredible, and to get to do it with my family as well as just amazing. My dad has done a lot of different businesses and, you know, that’s what he does,” said Becker. “To get to work with him on this and set this up and then be here and oversee it and work with everyone and get to know everyone in the community, it’s very exciting.”
The aim is to bring back the type of shopping that’s been missing in the community.
“It’s roughly a 25 to 40 mile distance to find a similar store,” said Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Tourism Mitchell Swenson. “So it’s nice to have this right here in Waupaca.”
Swenson believes the family-owned department store will have an edge over past big box stores that have failed in the community.
“The owners, as you can see, they’re here, they’re setting up, they’re constructing shelves and racks and things like that,” said Swenson. “They take it to heart.”
He’s excited to see this type of retail coming back to Waupaca.
“To see this happen, and the commitment of this family to bring this type of resource to our community is just awesome,” said Swenson.
“We’re very excited to be here. It’s very needed in the community,” said Becker. “So we’re very excited, everyone’s been so welcoming, and we’re ready to get everything done and open.”
Becker is thankful for how the community has already been showing support.
“We talk to people and we ask them ‘What are you looking for? What are things that you guys need here?’ So they’ve been very helpful and just so welcoming,” said Becker.
She says it may take some time before they can bring in certain inventory such as clothes, but they plan to open with what items they do have around May 1 regardless.
Follow the Everyday Hometown Facebook page for updates on the upcoming opening.
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