Local pet stores are getting ready to take on the competition as a brand new PetSmart is set to make Marquette its home.
Starting Saturday Oct. 20, local pet stores Mares-Z-Doats and The Pet Stop will have a new source of competition. PetSmart will be opening its doors to customers just in time for the coming holiday season.
“Competition is a good thing,” said Jennifer Hallinen, manager of Mares-Z-Doats. “Since we’ve heard they were coming, we’ve looked at things we could improve on.”
Mares-Z-Doats has been a part of the Marquette community for 30 years. Family run, they provide customers with a wide variety of animal supplies including feed, toys and equipment necessary for pet ownership.
“We’re just going to keep going above and beyond and out beat them in service,” said Andy Hallinen, manager of Mares-Z-Doats.
Although the Hallinens are sure their loyal customers will keep coming back to Mares-Z-Doats, they are looking at options for how to compete with a large chain store like PetSmart.
Already Mares-Z-Doats offers discounts to a large variety of customers as well as bringing in brand new items in the pet market.
They plan on offering more specials to keep customers coming in along with store events such as their annual Christmas and spring sales, according to Jennifer Hallinen.
“I think our customers can count on us to be here to serve them to the best of our ability,” Andy Hallinen said.
The Pet Stop is another local pet store that will be competing against PetSmart. Started by NMU alumni Patrick Kaski, the Pet Stop has been open in Marquette for the past 19 years.
“We appreciate the loyalty in the past and we hope they will maintain loyalty with us in the present and future,” Kaski said.
The Pet Stop provides customers a large assortment of pets including fish, reptiles, birds and rodents along with the supplies needed to care for these pets.
They also will bring in puppies, kittens and other animals from the local community.
The Pet Stop also has a grooming service along with a fish tank cleaning service for businesses, according to Kaski.
“We hope people recognize and continue to support us,” Kaski said. “We hope they give us every opportunity to be a part of their lives and their pets’ lives.”
The Pet Stop has taken advantage of local events to get their name out to the public.
They had a stand at Fall Fest this semester and also worked with the Strut Your Mutt charity walk. Along with getting out in the community, they plan on doing more updates to the store in the future, according to Kaski.
Both the Pet Stop and Mares-Z-Doats are confident that their customers will remain loyal to them even after the opening of PetSmart. According to their website, PetSmart will be offering customers access to pet grooming as well as training.
PetSmart has more than 1,000 stores located in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.