Good Closing

The pet store (as in, “store that sells live animals”, not “store that sells food and supplies for pets”) in the local mall is closing. I am sorry for the proprietors, but this is a Good Thing. If you want to sell puppies, get into the breeding business, don’t market them like bottles of soda.

Why shouldn’t you buy a pet from a pet store? Here’s some more information:
Get the Facts on Puppy Mills (Humane Society of the United States)
Should Pet Stores Sell Puppies?
What is a Puppy Mill?

From today’s Daily Times-Call (I am reproducing the article here, because the Times-Call does not archive):

Always an original

By Tony Kindelspire
The Daily Times-Call

LONGMONT — An original tenant of Twin Peaks Mall is calling it quits.

Animal Kingdom, originally Pet City, opened when the mall did — Aug. 7, 1985. Several owners later, the store — purchased by its current owners only last April — will shut its doors for the final time Sunday.

“People come in to look at the animals and play with the animals, but not enough people would come in to purchase the animals,” said Pam Freitik, who owns Animal Kingdom with her daughter, Stephanie. “We got to fondly calling it the petting zoo.”

Pam Freitik had previously worked for a law firm, and her daughter for Petland in Broomfield.

“That’s what made us go, ‘Let’s give this a try,'” said Pam Freitik. She said the two contacted Steve Waugh, who owns several Pet City franchises in the area, and he suggested they buy the Twin Peaks store, which was struggling under its then-owner.

“Being family run, always having an owner on the premises,” Pam Freitik said. “We felt that would make enough of a difference to keep the store running.”

“A lot of people came in,” said Stephanie Freitik, echoing her mother’s comments.

Overall sales at the mall over the holidays were up from last year, but the increase did not transfer to Animal Kingdom’s cash registers.

“I haven’t seen it here,” said Pam Freitik. “We did not do the same business they did last year. We were probably $10,000 below what they did last year.”

PetsMart, essentially a big-box pet store chain, opened across the street from the Twin Peaks Mall in early fall 2002, months before the Freitik’s purchase of Pet City. While Stephanie Freitik said Pet City had been failing even before PetsMart came in, her mother said the giant store had a noticeable impact on their business.

“People will come in here and buy their dog but they don’t buy a lot of supplies here,” said Pam Freitik. “And they’re honest — they’ll tell us (they’re going to PetsMart for supplies).”

Twin Peaks has seen a lot of changes over the years, but the pet store on the corner near the food court, with the big glass windows where kids could watch the puppies play, had been a staple since the very beginning.

J.C. Penney is the only original anchor remaining from 1985, and only a few other smaller stores — including the Coach House, Claire’s Boutique and Wicks & Lather — have been there since the mall opened.

But the puppies in the window may have made Pet City — later Animal Kingdom — the most visible of all of them.

“There aren’t too many pet stores in malls anymore,” notes Joette Frey, Twin Peaks’ marketing director. “But there’s a few long-timers, and we hope it stays that way.”

The two Animal Kingdom owners are disappointed that they couldn’t make a go of the store. Pam Freitik said her husband and mother pitched in to help with the store, and even her 18-month-old grandson has gotten into the act — occasionally coming in to dust.

“So it has been a total family involvement,” Pam Freitik said.

“It’s been a tremendous amount of hard work, but I loved working with the animals,” she said. “You can be in a foul mood and pick up a puppy and it changes everything. You get some of that puppy love rubbing off on you.”

While her daughter will stay home to take care of her new baby, Pam Freitik said she’s already been invited back to the law firm for which she used to work. But, she said, it won’t be the same.

“It’s a whole different kind of animal there.”


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