Moab Shopko Hometown manager Randy Hart, center, celebrates the store's official grand opening on Friday, March 27 during a Moab Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony. Shopko CEO Peter McMahon, second from right, is also pictured alongside chamber members. [Photo by Rudy Herndon / Moab Sun News]

The old ALCO building wasn’t vacant for long.

National retailer Shopko celebrated the grand opening last week of its Moab Shopko Hometown store inside the retail space at 1145 S. U.S. Highway 191.

The store opened for business on Sunday, March 22, but it held its official opening ceremony on Friday, March 27, drawing dozens of bargain hunters who stopped by to pick up free $10 gift cards.

While temperatures in the shade were on the cool side, Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison fired up the crowd with a rallying cry.

“Everybody’s got their coupons; everybody’s ready to shop, right?” he asked.

Sakrison said he believes the new store will be a real asset to Moab.

“We all missed the previous owner, and when they pulled out, we had a void,” he said. “I’m very proud and privileged to welcome Shopko to our community.”

Shopko CEO Peter McMahon said that local store manager Randy Hart got to work within a matter of weeks after ALCO closed its doors for good earlier this year.

“When the former company that was here went out of business, we had an accelerated plan,” McMahon said. “We’ve never done the conversions of stores this fast, and there was a lot of work that went into this.”

The Green Bay, Wisconsin company’s Hometown offshoot sells national and private-label brands of clothing, home furnishings, toys, electronics, groceries, garden products and other items.

Shopko designs its Hometown stores to meet the needs of smaller communities like Moab, and so far, the local response has been strong, according to McMahon.

“Based on the early results, I can tell you guys love the store, and that’s great,” he said.

Although the Moab store was one of 20 Shopko Hometown locations opening that same day, Sakrison said that McMahon went out of his way to spend some extra time in Moab.

“When they told him, ‘You’ve got to go to Moab and open the Moab store, and then get on a plane and leave,’ he decided that he was going to stay for a little while, because it’s such a great place,” Sakrison said.

McMahon repeatedly touted his company’s commitment to the community, and in one early show of support, he gave Grand County High School a check for $2,500.

“We understand the importance of small-town values and sensibilities, because that’s what we were founded on,” McMahon said.

The store aims to offer its customers competitive prices on quality goods under one roof, he said.

“We know that you value quality, and we hope that you see our commitment to quality and value in our merchandise and our service,” he said.

Hart urged customers to contact him if they need help.

“I am here for you,” he said. “If you need something; if you have a concern; if you want something, please come to me.”

“If there’s something that you want that we don’t carry, please let me know and I’ll do everything I can (to get it),” he added.

Company CEO joins Moab Chamber members for ribbon-cutting

“We know that you value quality, and we hope that you see our commitment to quality and value in our merchandise and our service.”