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Jean Ruzicka, Park Rapids (Minn.) Enterprise, Published January 29 2009

Area Pamidas to close

Slack sales shutter doors in Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Wadena

PARK RAPIDS, Minn. – Pamida department stores in Detroit Lakes and Park Rapids will be closing Saturday.

The decision “boils down to economics,” said Dean Williamson, vice president of human resources at the Omaha, Neb., corporate office. “It’s a sign of the times.”

Sales performance numbers drove the decision, he said. “It’s more costly to keep the store open than closed.”

The Pamida store in Wadena will also close. Wadena’s store will remain open until Feb. 14.

The Park Rapids site’s approximately 20 employees learned of the decision Friday.

The Detroit Lakes store opened in 1972 and has 14 employees, Williamson said.

The Wadena store opened in 1972 and has 24 employees, he said.

Pamida isn’t closing any of its six stores in North Dakota, he said.

The three Minnesota stores are among 11 that will close. Pamida has 215 department stores in 17 states.

There will be no liquidation of inventory; the products will be moved to another store, Williamson said. Current employees will be asked to remain with the store for the next two to three weeks to assist with the transition.

Pamida’s practice is to provide severance pay, he said, including part-time employees.

“This is no reflection on the store team,” Williamson said.

Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson contributed to this report

The Park Rapids Enterprise and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.