GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - In the heyday for Shopko, she was simply known as the "Shopko Lady", serving as the company's spokesperson for 20 years.
Karen McDiarmid says there's a sadness in her heart after learning this week that Shopko will officially close all of its stores over the next few months.
"They really were a good store, good company," says McDiarmid.
In 1976, when Shopko hired Karen McDiarmid to do a few commercials, she had no idea it would become a two decade, part-time job affording her the opportunity to be a den mother and raise her son.
"For me personally, the doors that opened during those 20 years of being their spokesperson will never be forgotten, nor taken for granted," says McDiarmid.
As the face of Shopko, McDiarmid witnessed the company's tremendous expansion.
"You know one of my favorite things when I was the Shopko Lady was attending the grand openings, and how the company grew from 1976 to 1996, and the trips out to the West Coast and all the states in between. I met so many amazing people," recalls McDiarmid.
In recent years, McDiarmid says it's been tough watching her hometown company struggle, and then file for bankruptcy in January.
"I think about all the employees right now that are facing a major life change and hopefully we learn from every life transition, don't we, and to appreciate the good years with Shopko, to appreciate their community service, certainly in Northeast, Wisconsin, wow they have been such a wonderful partner to so many organizations," says McDiarmid.
McDiarmid says representing Shopko on the CP Telethon and for the Muscular Dystrophy Association are two perks she'll always treasure and remember, just like the company's many slogans and jingles.
"Back in the day of course it was, 'Say hello to a good buy at Shopko' and now it looks like we're saying goodbye," says McDiarmid.