Since the close of Two Harbors’ Shopko Hometown in June 2019, there has been no retail store offering that variety of goods between Duluth and the Canadian border. Scott and Jen Seagren hope to fill that void.

“The minute we heard Shopko was closing, we started toying with the idea,” Jen Seagren said.

They have owned Seagren’s True Value Hardware since 2016. While they tried to offer many of the items and departments that were offered at Shopko, lack of space in their facility was an issue. Now, they’re leasing to own the former Shopko Hometown building at 1009 Seventh Ave. in Two Harbors. They plan to open as Seagren’s Home, Hardware and Outdoors in late spring.

Seagren’s Home, Hardware and Outdoors will use just over half of the building’s space and include lawn and garden, work and family clothing, footwear, pet, automotive, electrical, plumbing, hardware, housewares, paint, toys and outdoor departments.

“Just about everything that Shopko carried, we’re going to have that same stuff,” Scott Seagren said. “Our bottom line is we’ve got to be here to take care of the community.”

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He said prices will be competitively matched to those in Duluth so residents don’t have to leave the community to get what they need. The Seagrens plan to hire six to 12 new employees at their second location. The hardware store at 610 First Ave. in Two Harbors will also continue to operate.

Seagren's True Value Hardware owners Scott and Jennifer Seagren stand in front of their store at 610 First Ave., Two Harbors. (Teri Cadeau / 2019 file / Lake County News-Chronicle)
Seagren's True Value Hardware owners Scott and Jennifer Seagren stand in front of their store at 610 First Ave., Two Harbors. (Teri Cadeau / 2019 file / Lake County News-Chronicle)

Janelle Jones, president of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, said the community has really felt the void since Shopko closed. Plans for Dollar General stores in Silver Bay and in Cook County’s Grand Marais both fell through in 2016, leaving Shopko as the only big-box chain store in the two counties.

“It’s exciting for not only our community, but for the whole North Shore to have a new place to go to for some of these things that we’ve been missing,” Jones said.

Seagren’s Home, Hardware and Outdoors has partnered with major brands like Lee, Wrangler, Hanes, Champion, Purina, Hallmark, DeWalt, Ariens, Troy-Bilt and many more.

“Our hopes are that the town sees us investing in them, so they’re willing to invest in us,” Scott Seagren said.