The news media preview for the ShopKo stores has been held.

An introductory advertising blitz is in full swing.The shelves have been stocked, the carts lined up and the landscaping is in place for the company based in Green Bay, Wis., that has spent millions of dollars building seven new stores in the state.

Today, the stores will actually open their doors.

All that remains for ShopKo's first venture into Utah is the grand opening, which will be Wednesday at 9 a.m., according to Gene Bankers, vice president and director of advertising. Containing 94,000 square-feet of space each and employing about 250 people each, the stores are located at 2165 E. 94th South, Sandy; 5959 S. State, Murray; 9000 S. 1553 West, West Jordan; 5800 S. Redwood Road, Taylorsville; 1018 Washington Boulevard, Ogden; 1150 N. Main, Layton; and 2266 N. University Parkway, Provo.

At 9 a.m., there will be ribbon-cutting ceremonies in each of the stores featuring these participants:

- Murray store, Gov. Norman Bangerter; Murray Mayor LaVar McMillan; Miss Murray, Maria Faerber; Bankers; store manager Mark Weiss; and ShopKo's commercial spokesperson Karen McDiarmid.

- Sandy store, Sandy Mayor J. Steven Newton; Miss Salt Lake Valley Katheryn Tanner; ShopKo district director Jim Royal; and store manager Tom O'Donnell.

- West Jordan store, West Jordan Mayor Cristin Lambert; former Miss Salt Lake Valley, Charise Christiansen; ShopKo vice president Tom Hendra; and store manager Dan Olson.

- Taylorsville store, Lt. Gov. W. Val Oveson; Miss West Valley City, Dawn Webber; ShopKo vice president Clay Schaefer; and store manager Mike Moran.

- Ogden store, Ogden Mayor Clifford Goff; Miss Roy, Marcia Homer; Shopko district merchandiser Greg Strom; and store manager Tim Baxter.

- Provo store, Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins; Miss Provo, Kiana Hooker; ShopKo district merchandiser Jim Redalen; and store manager Chuck Eparvier.

- Layton store, Layton Mayor Richard McKenzie; Miss Kaysville, Julie Williams; ShopKo district director Dave Haugen; and store manager Kathy Swita.

On grand opening day in each store, free sample packs of ShopKo products will be given to the first 1,500 customers; free six-count packs of ShopKo diapers will go to the first 1,500 adults; and free Tyco block animals go to the first 750 children.

There will be drawings with grand prizes of trips to Disneyland, Lake Tahoe or Transylvania.

The optical shops and pharmacies in each of the stores will hold drawings for prizes including $50 gift certificates in the optical shop and a year of free prescriptions up to $200. Cars, a mini race car, bicycles and black and white portable televisions are among other prizes to be awarded at each store.

On Sept. 24 between 1-4 p.m., costumed characters will be in the stores to give away balloons, candy, Mr. Yuk stickers and lifesavers identifications tags.

Construction of the seven stores started a year ago, but company officials decline to disclose how much they cost. Big D Construction Co., Ogden, built the stores in Murray, Taylorsville, Ogden and Layton. Paulsen Engineering Co. of Salt Lake City built the other three stores.

Besides the optical shops and pharmacies in each store, there are departments for toys, clothes, housewares, sporting goods, automotive, books, gifts, health and beauty aids, electronics, paint and hardware, shoes, home decoration and office supplies.