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Petco to Shut Down Drs. Foster and Smith, Eliminating 289 Jobs

The closure takes effect Feb. 12.

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Petco is shutting down its Drs. Foster and Smith business, a catalog and online retailer of pet supplies.

The closure, taking effect Feb. 12, means the loss of 289 jobs in Rhinelander, WI, the Star Journal reports.

Petco will maintain its Live Aquaria business, which has 59 employees, in Rhinelander.

Employees of Drs. Foster and Smith will see their employment end in 60 to 120 days, the company said.

The Star Journal quoted a company statement: “Taking into account the needs of modern pet parents, shifting consumer preferences and the ongoing evolution of the Petco brand, we believe this will enable us to streamline operations and better focus on our core business and customer.”

The company continued: “This decision has not been an easy one, nor has it been made lightly, and we appreciate that it has a very real effect on both individuals and the broader community in Rhinelander.”

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Petco purchased the Drs. Foster and Smith business in 2015.

Read more at the the Star Journal

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Pet Franchise to Open 50 Stores in 2019

It has over 200 units under development.

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PHOENIX — Dogtopia, a dog daycare, boarding and spa franchise, sold 100 units and opened 25 locations in 2018.

The Phoenix-based company now has over 200 units under development, according to a press release. It plans to open at least 50 stores in 2019.

So far, the brand has sold over 30 new stores in January, according to the release.

“Dogtopia is outpacing every pet franchise in North America and we were delighted about delivering another record year,” said Alex Samios, vice president of franchise development for Dogtopia. “Our unparalleled service, support and systems, combined with exceptional franchisees, has positioned us as the leading pet services brand.”

Dogtopia currently has more than 90 locations.

The brand also grew in 2018 in terms of its charitable initiatives with the Dogtopia Foundation, raising more than $150,000 to sponsor training for service dogs for veterans.

The company was recently named to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list. Dogtopia ranked at No. 204 “as a result of its outstanding performance in areas of unit growth and financial performance with strong franchisee support,” according to the release.

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Petco to Carry Champion Products

Their partnership begins March 4.

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SAN DIEGO, CA — Petco and Champion Petfoods announced a partnership that will bring Champion’s Acana and Orijen dog and cat foods to Petco stores and petco.com beginning March 4.

“Champion is an extremely mission-driven company that’s built a well-deserved reputation for serving up award-winning foods for dogs and cats, and their ACANA and ORIJEN brands align perfectly with the bold nutrition standards we announced late last year,” said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin. “As a leader in providing pets and pet parents with everything they need to live healthy, happy lives together, we’re thrilled to add industry-leading brands for anyone who wants to feed their pets the healthiest foods available.”

Petco recently announced that it will not sell food or treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats by May 2019.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Petco, a company with such a strong reputation and commitment to ensuring the well-being of pets and peace of mind to pet lovers,” said Champion President and CEO Frank Burdzy. “This new relationship is an important step toward our goal of building trust and making our Biologically Appropriate foods available to more pet lovers everywhere.”

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Petco Chief Merchant Nick Konat said, “Consumer and industry response to Petco raising the bar on our nutrition standards has been phenomenal, and the addition of ACANA and ORIJEN to our portfolio are significant proof points in our ongoing journey to be pet parents’ trusted partner of choice.”

Petco operates more than 1,500 retail locations and employs 26,000 people across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.

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Dog-Food Startup Raises $39M

It delivers to customers’ homes.

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A startup company focused on craft dog food has completed a $39 million financing round.

The Farmer’s Dog launched in 2015 “to disrupt an industry that mostly relies on food-shelf stable, preservative-heavy dry food,” Fast Company reports. It delivers pet food to customers’ homes.

The Farmer’s Dog’s total funding is now at $49 million.

Leading the new funding round was Insight Venture Partners. Other contributors included Forerunner Ventures and Shasta Ventures.

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The Farmer’s Dog Co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Regev told Fast Company: “When you look at pet food, this processed food is being fed to them every single day, every single meal, for their entire life.”

His company seeks to change that. Its food “includes whole chunks of fresh ingredients like carrots, turkey, parsnips, chickpeas, broccoli, and spinach,” according to Fast Company.

Read more at Fast Company

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