Pet Supplies Plus to purchase former Sears building
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – A Wisconsin-based Pet Supplies Plus franchise group is set to purchase the former Sears Hometown store located at 1810 N Central Ave in Marshfield.
Owner Victor R. Baeten said the company will close on the purchase in May.
“Construction is to start in a few months and our goal is to be open before the holiday seasons this year. We will be spending north of a million dollars to renovate the building and convert it to a full line pet supplies store that has public pet wash, grooming, live animals, and of course pet supplies,” he explained.
The group currently has stores in Fitchburg and Austin, MN. Baeten said that the group looked at bringing a third store to Marshfield in 2019.
“With 2020 being the uncertain year it was we put the project on hold,” he recalled.
Baeten said that the Marshfield market is the ideal size for Pet Supplies Plus.
“There is no full line pet supplies store in town. We carry not only pet supplies, but live animals, have a grooming salon, and a pet wash room for our neighbors to utilize also,” he said.
“The building is the ideal size around the 9,000 square-foot range. In addition, we would not be able to make the overall project costs work if we were to build ground up. The bones of the Sears store are good. We will be investing significant upgrades to the building, but it was critical having the existing building pushed our decision on entering Marshfield.”
The store will employ approximately two dozen staff members.
“We have already hired our store team leader, who is local to the area. We are both very excited for it has been a few years of conversations together,” Baeten said.
The staff at The Laundromutt, currently located at 912 S Central Avenue, Marshfield, will also join Pet Supplies Plus.
“The entire Laundromutt team will be joining Pet Supplies Plus this coming fall as we open in Marshfield. Cicely Steinmetz, owner of The Laundromutt, will be Pet Supplies Plus’s salon leader. Cicely will work closely with Deb Compton, our regional salon lead for our stores.”
Compton is a dog groomer who has been featured on ABC’s “Pooch Perfect,” and Baeten said that she is considered one of the top 10 groomers in the country.
Baeten said the store will bring big box services with a small-town feel.
“We are not a big box store like some of our competitors. We are the neighborhood pet store. We don’t have customers; we have neighbors that shop and use our services in store. Most, if not all, of the revenue will be reinvested locally especially in the first few years of business,” he stated.
“We look forward to partnering with the humane society, dog parks and other animal welfare groups locally.”
Prior to opening the Fitchburg store in 2016, Baeten worked at Pet Central – Pet Supplies Plus corporate headquarters – as their director of real estate.
“My role was to expand the company in both corporate and franchise growth. I began with the company in 2012 when we had less than 200 stores and now the company has over 550 stores in 35 plus states,” he explained.
“Our tag line is ‘Minus the Hassel.’ We have the right products and services for your pets and your pets needs. Our locations are smaller than the big box warehouse pet stores, making it easier to shop and our team members are there to help you find what works for your family’s needs.”
Baeten said that the group looks to have plans completed in the next few weeks, obtain bids and permits, and begin construction in June. A soft opening is planned for September, with a grand opening weekend event following in October.