A dog resting outside the Pet Valu store.
Colin McConnell | Toronto Star | beautiful images
Pet Valu has joined the list of retailers that are permanently shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.
The pet food and utensils specialty retailer on Wednesday said it would cease operations at its Pennsylvania headquarters and close all 358 stores and warehouses across the US. They said the sales closure will begin within the next few days.
The pandemic has fueled pet booms across America, as Americans seek long-term companions at home. Animal breeders and rescuers have seen a surge in the number of adopted pets and adoptive parents during the global health crisis. That resulted in higher sales for a number of retailers, including the privately owned Petco and PetSmart pet supermarkets, and the e-commerce pet retailers Chewy. It also inspires new offerings, such as the addition of a curbside pick up service at Petco and PetSmart and the launch of Chewy̵7;s telehealth service.
However, that pet boom wasn’t enough to save Pet Valu. With Wednesday’s announcement, it becomes the latest retailer to be pushed to the brink of finance by the global health crisis. A growing list of companies, including JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, Brooks Brothers and Lucky Brand, have filed for bankruptcy protection this year. The list includes a few companies that have closed for good including discount store Stein Mart, home appliances retailer Pier 1 Imports and department store Lord & Taylor.
Jamie Gould, Pet Valu’s recently appointed restructuring director, said in a press release that the company’s stores “had been significantly affected by COVID-19 pull-related restrictions. long.”
“After carefully reviewing all the available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to start this orderly work,” she said.
The company is owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group. Ontario Pet Valu Canada-based Markham is a separate, profitable company and will continue to operate its stores and website.
In the US, Pet Valu stores will continue to open until the closure is complete, but customers can no longer place an order on the company’s website.