Grand opening of new Pet Supplies Plus in Athol on Saturday

  • Team members at the new Pet Supplies Plus store at 111 Tower Road in Athol include,  left to right,  top row — Dustin Short, Josh Garrity, Madison Fifield, Lissa Campbell, Ben Everett, Krystina Barber; Middle row — Emily Bosworth, Gina Tontodonato, Victoria Flood, Courtney Duguay, Megan Rich, Elizabeth Lovern; Bottom row — Sarah Arsenault, Jennifer Boutell, Amy Gaumond, Jessica Beach. —Greg Vine

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 1/10/2019 10:00:09 PM

ATHOL — The new Pet Supplies Plus store at 111 Tower Road in the North Quabbin Commons shopping center will be holding its official grand opening this Saturday and Sunday. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 8:45 Saturday morning.

Visitors Saturday and Sunday will have a chance to win a complimentary one-year supply of dog or cat food, and a complimentary nail trim for pets will be offered. On Saturday only, scratch cards ranging in amounts of $5 to $50 will be offered to patrons throughout the day. The first 100 visitors through the door on Sunday will receive a coupon for a free, small bag of dog or cat food, valid on any brand in the store. A “Bark ‘N’ Brunch will also be offered Sunday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The store had its “soft opening” about three weeks ago and manager Jennifer Boutell said business has been steady.

“We’ve actually been really busy,” she said. “I kind of knew business would be good in this area. We’ve seen a lot of neighbors, which is what we call our customers, because we’re a neighborhood pet supply store.”

Boutell should know the area well, having grown up in Athol and graduating from Athol High School. Prior to coming to Pet Supplies Plus, she spent 14 years at the Target store in Leominster, spending much of that time in management.

When asked how Pet Supplies Plus compares to some of the larger chains, like Petco, Boutell said, “We strive for a better experience. We want our neighbors to come in and feel welcome. We will shop for them, if they need us to. We want to get to know the animals that come into the store; we want to have a relationship with them. We think that’s one of the big things that separates us from the other stores. As we get to know our neighbors we’ll be able to adjust our inventory to better serve them.”

Pet Supplies Plus was founded in 1988 in Redford, Michigan by partners Harry Shallop and Jack Berry. By 2017, the company had grown to nearly 400 stores in 31 states and has become the third-largest retailer of pet food in the country. In 2010, the chain was sold to Irving Place Capital, headquartered in New York City. Annual sales top $400 million. Last year the company was named to Forbes magazine’s list of best midsize employers.

Pets are welcome in the store.

“Certainly, we see more dogs and cats,” said Boutell, “But we’ve seen some lizards come in, we’ve seen some birds come in.”

In addition to supplies, the store also currently offers dog washing, with plans to offer grooming services in the near future.

“The charge for grooming defends on the breed,” Boutell said. “It depends on the size of the dog, the breed of the dog, how much fur they have.”

Boutell said Pet Supplies Plus will also be offering VIP pet clinics once a month, at which time pet owners will be able to get necessary shots for their dogs or cats. VIP partners with Pet Supplies Plus to offer preventive care which also includes heartworm prevention, testing and deworming, microchipping, prescription flea and tick control, and other services. A clinic is being offered this Saturday.

Boutell said there are currently 18 people employed at Pet Supplies Plus, adding that just about all are from the Athol area. In addition to herself, there are three full time shift leaders, while the remainder of store workers are part time.

“The team I have is amazing,” she concluded.


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