By Joe Crews
For Hometown News
Buying a gift or supplies for Rover or Fluffy got a little easier for DeLand residents a week before Christmas.
Sunrise-based pet supply chain Pet Supermarket opened a store at 1511 N. Woodland Blvd. on Dec. 18.
The store occupies a former Blockbuster Video location, and Pet Supermarket Regional Manager Tim Boutwell said the renovation to suit his employer's need "was very easy," requiring only a couple of weeks of work.
"We got done early," Mr. Boutwell said on the store's first day. "We were expecting to be opening tomorrow."
The first merchandise was delivered the Friday before the store opened with about 10 employees, he said. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
This is the fifth Pet Supermarket in Volusia County, Mr. Boutwell said. The others, according to the company website, are at 1235 B Providence Blvd. in Deltona, 500 S. Clyde Morris Blvd. in Port Orange, 1135 W. Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach and 2535 N. Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach. A store will open soon in New Smyrna Beach, he added.
Although it was only the store's first day, Mr. Boutwell said he believed business was going to be very good.
"We've been getting a great deal of attention from the public since the signs went up (about a week and a half earlier), so we expect good demand from this store," he said.
The store doesn't sell or adopt out any dogs or cats, although birds, fish and small reptiles -- as well as the supplies and accoutrements that go with them -- can be bought there, Mr. Boutwell said.
The store carries a wide assortment of merchandise for dogs, cats, birds, small animals (such as hamsters) and reptiles (hermit crabs and the like).
"We have over 8,000 products," including name-brand pet food, he said. "We carry better quality dog food, including grain-free and holistic foods, which are very big."
The store also carries all kinds of pet fashions, from fancy leashes to pet clothing, as well as chew toys and treats for dogs and cats. All the merchandise also is available on the chain's website, www.petsupermarket.com.
According to the website petfinder.com, "Pet Supermarket has it all for your furry friend." The chain was founded in 1973 by Chuck West as Pet Circus; the family-owned company changed its name to Pet Supermarket in 1986, petfinder.com says.
The chain has stores in a dozen states, with a large percentage of them in Florida. According to an article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel last March, the chain had 124 stores, mostly in the Southeast, with plans to add 24 stores by the end of the year.
In addition to Pet Supermarkets around the county, pet owners have a plethora of choices when it comes to buying pet food and supplies. Chains such as Petco (two locations) and PetSmart (one) are in Volusia County, as well as more than a dozen locally owned places where pet food and other supplies are sold. There also are dozens of pet groomers in business throughout the county.