Closing its record-breaking growth year on a positive note, Pet Supplies Plus announced it will acquire an estimated 40 previously operated Pet Valu locations throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia with some locations to reopen with Pet Supplies Plus branding, products and services as early as January, 2021.
News of the conversions comes after Pet Valu announced last month it was shutting down all U.S. operations, including its 358 stores. By transforming and rebranding some of these store locations to Pet Supplies Plus, many jobs will be saved that might otherwise be lost in addition to keeping pet parents happy by providing a high-touch shopping experience.
Pet Supplies Plus, with over 500 stores in 35 states, is the fastest growing and largest independent pet retailer in North America, and is known for its neighborhood friendliness and Minus the hassle shopping experience.
According to company executives, the former Pet Valu stores will be a mix of corporate and franchisee-owned Pet Supplies Plus locations. These store conversions present a turnkey business opportunity for potential franchisees to step in and operate the stores with a significantly shortened store opening timeline, take advantage of established real estate and benefit from minimal build out expenses vs. building a brand new brick and mortar location. Potential franchisees will also benefit from inheriting an established neighbor base in need of pet foods, goods and services.
"I would like to extend gratitude to the Pet Valu team, who have been nothing but professional and supportive throughout this entire process," said Nick Russo, senior vice president of franchising and store operations for Pet Supplies Plus. "This exemplifies the type of culture Pet Valu has developed, and we are excited to offer many Pet Valu associates a new home with us."
Additionally, Russo said the company is seeking qualified franchise partners to be the face of Pet Supplies Plus for many of these locations, adding, "When you pair our national resources and established support systems with a passionate owner who knows the community well and keeps the neighbor at the forefront of all decisions, that's when Pet Supplies Plus truly shines."
Russo noted that Pet Supplies Plus has seen a positive impact from the increased spending on pets throughout the country during the pandemic. The demand for franchising opportunities has also increased. In fact, he said, the company is expected to open an estimated 100 new stores in 2021, which includes the previously operated Pet Valu stores obtained. This more than doubles the number of stores opened in 2020.
"We chose locations where we knew Pet Supplies Plus will make the biggest positive impact, especially for pet parents who need a community retailer to depend on for their pet needs," said CEO Chris Rowland. "We're honored to provide these neighborhoods with a large assortment of quality pet products and services with knowledgeable team members ready to help make pet ownership easier."
Pet Supplies Plus is known for its welcoming neighborhood environment, where team members get to know their neighbors and pets by name at every store and offers a wide array of pet care products and toys, as well as natural pet foods and a variety of Made in USA pet consumables, such as wet and dry food, treats, rawhide and chews, both in store and online. Pet Supplies Plus can safely accommodate all in-store services like grooming, pet washes, and Vet Clinics, real-time advice and an opportunity for pets to do their own shopping. In addition, neighbors can conveniently shop online for same-day delivery services that bring pet food and supplies directly to homes, as well as free 2-hours curbside pickup.