Pet Supplies Plus, grand opening storefront

Pet Supplies Plus, a Livonia, Mich.-based pet franchise, is expanding its footprint with the acquisition of 40 previously operated Pet Valu locations. The stores are located throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with some locations set to reopen with Pet Supplies Plus branding, products and services as early as January, 2021, officials said in a statement.

News of the conversions comes one month after Pet Valu announced it was shutting down all its U.S. operations, including its 358 stores. Officials of the specialty pet retailers cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor.

“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 officials said.

The former Pet Valu stores will be a mix of corporate and franchisee-owned Pet Supplies Plus locations, according to officials.

“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,” officials said. “Potential franchisees will also benefit from inheriting an established neighbor base in need of pet foods, goods and services.”

Pet Supplies Plus has seen a positive impact from the increased spending on pets throughout the country during the pandemic, said Nick Russo, senior vice president of franchising and store operations for Pet Supplies Plus. The demand for franchising opportunities has also increased, Russo added. He said that the company is expected to open about 100 new stores in 2021, including the former Pet Valu locations the company has acquired. This more than doubles the number of stores opened in 2020, according to Russo.

“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 Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus. “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 isn’t the only company acquiring shuttering Pet Valu locations. In early December, Feeders Supply Co., a retailer of pet foods and pet supplies with locations in Kentucky and Indiana, had reported to Louisville Business First that it was in the midst of adding a few Pet Valu locations under its wing.

In related news, PE Hub, which covers private equity deal-making in North America, reported in early December that Sentinel Capital Partners was set to sell Pet Supplies Plus. The investment company purchased the pet franchise in 2018. No further news has been reported about a potential transaction.

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