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ASHWAUBENON, WIS. -- The news that the ShopKo-owned Pamida division was closing a distribution center may seem rather innocuous, but given the dark cloud hovering over the company's distribution system in the past year, it may well be a sign the retailer is headed toward recovery.
The company announced it would close a cross-dock DC in Bethany, Mo., by March 15 of this year. The closure is part of ongoing efforts to improve merchandise flow into Pamida stores and streamline expenses--an area that has been particularly thorny for the retailer.
Management announced in fall 2000 that it was having problems with a new facility in Lebanon, Ind., which in turn was …