A popular place in which to purchase pet supplies is going out of business.
The Pet Valu store in the Creekside Marketplace shopping center in Lower Saucon Township is one of hundreds of locations the company is currently closing across the U.S.
Pet Valu announced last week that it would begin closing all of its stores nationwide and blamed the decision on the coronavirus pandemic’s “severe impact” on business.
Jamie Gould, Pet Valu, Inc.’s recently appointed Chief Restructuring Officer, said in a news release that “the Pet Valu U.S. team is proud to have met the needs of our devoted pet lover customers in the U.S. for more than 25 years. However, the company’s stores have been significantly impacted by the protracted COVID-19-related restrictions. After a thorough review of all available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to commence this orderly wind down.”
Some retail analysts have indicated Gould’s statement may be disingenuous, however, since pet supply stores were considered essential businesses in Pennsylvania as well as many other states during the spring shutdown, and were thus allowed to remain open.
Pet adoption rates also spiked during to the pandemic, meaning more people needed to buy pet supplies than ever before.
A Nov. 6 Morning Call story noted that while the company wouldn’t comment beyond its news release, industry experts believe issues with store layout and Pet Valu’s e-commerce platform are reasons why it found itself unable to compete in a rapidly-evolving retail marketplace.
The Saucon Valley Pet Valu store opened several years ago at 1854 Leithsville Road (Rt. 412), Hellertown. Among other services available there were self-service dog washes.
As of Wednesday, large signs advertising a “total inventory blowout” were affixed to the store’s windows.
“Everything must go, up to 20 percent off,” said one sign.
“Entire store on sale!” said another.
There are a number of other Pet Valu stores in the area that are closing, including stores in Bethlehem Township, Wind Gap, South Whitehall Township, Lower Macungie Township and Quakertown.
The Pet Valu website specifies that all sales are now final, and lists redemption information for Pet Points Plus members.
Dog wash and grooming services are still available during the sale, however adoption services are no longer being offered.
Senior and military discounts are no longer being given.
Locally, there are several independently-owned pet supply stores that remain in business, including Doggy Dao & Cat’s Meow on Main Street in Hellertown and Chaar on Rt. 378 in Lower Saucon Township.
Other businesses that have closed since the pandemic began include local dry cleaners and Taps Tavern, which was a sports bar and restaurant located on Rt. 378.