Contrasted against the shutdown of traditional retailers like Toys “R” Us, Pet Supplies Plus is celebrating the first weekend of April with five new store grand openings in four different states across the country.
Named one of the Fastest-Growing Franchises, Pet Supplies Plus opened 33 new franchise stores and 12 new corporate stores in 2017, exceeding 425 locations, including a presence in three new states. This year, the brand is on track to open 50 new stores. Grand opening celebrations will be celebrated over the weekend of April 7-8 at new Pet Supplies Stores in the following markets:
Winter Park, Florida
Katy East, Texas
Bailey Boswell, Texas
Mount Vernon, Illinois
The 30-year-old pet product retailer remains a strong competitive player in the $69 billion pet industry by providing a wide selection of natural pet foods, goods and pet services at low prices and by focusing on a unique, rich in-store experience for “neighbors” (the term Pet Supplies Plus uses for customers). Pet parents traditionally shop with their dogs at the store, where knowledgeable team members are on hand to answer questions, offer tips or just get on their hands and knees to play with the pets.
Entrenched in the community, Pet Supplies Plus franchisees partner with local animal shelters, non-profits and rescue organizations to host year-round adoption events and fundraisers and to donate pet food and products. Stores also are known for fun, pet-bonding events designed to socially connect pet parents in the community. Other neighbor-centric features include self-pet wash stations, new pet parent education and carry-out service in which team members carry heavy items to neighbors’ cars.
“Major retailers are closing because they haven’t given consumers a compelling reason to come to their stores versus ordering online,” Pet Supplies Plus CEO Chris Rowland said. “We have loyal, repeat business because our neighbors truly look forward to the experience we provide them when they walk through our doors. Pet parents shop with their pets not just because it’s convenient, but because they want social interaction for them and their pets. You can’t get that by shopping online.”
To satisfy a need for socialization, the new Winter Park, Florida location will be among the first to roll out a community room, a meeting space where neighbors are encouraged to reserve free of charge to network with pet parents of similar breed dogs, host birthday parties, adoption events or community group meetings.
Pet Supplies Plus has figured out the ideal formula to blend the convenience of e-commerce into its experiential, personal-service store model with its You Click. We Fetch order online and in-store pickup program, currently being tested in multiple locations. Neighbors can order online, have items ready for easy pickup at the store and carried out to their car. Online shoppers will also receive special offers on products and services (grooming, pet washes) and invitations to local store events.
“Everything we do goes back to our passion for pets, celebrating the fun of pet ownership and connecting with like-minded people,” Rowland said.