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Ren’s Pets Expanding in Canada with Multiple Store Openings: Interviews

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Ren’s Pets, a leading Canadian specialty retailer of pet food and supplies, is expanding its footprint with a new urban concept store at Toronto’s Liberty Village with plans to open more stores as part of an aggressive expansion.

Scott Arsenault, President at Ren’s Pets, said the new urban concept store in Toronto will have a 5,500-square-foot footprint, and feature Ren’s best selection of dog and cat products. Several more urban format stores will be opening in the inner city.

Scott Arsenault

“This is just the beginning of our network of stores in Toronto. Pet parents are looking for a strong pet bricks and mortar offering, a place they can come in with their pets and truly be serviced along with doing things like weighing their pet, trying samples, asking for advice from the knowledgeable staff, having fittings for harnesses, collars or clothing, and socializing with other passionate pet folks and their pups.”

“We think the Toronto market is an excellent fit for the premium products we carry, like top food brands Acana, Open Farm, Stella & Chewy’s, GO SOLUTIONS, and NOW FRESH. We will also have the largest raw and frozen pet food assortment in Toronto in our Liberty Village store, with a premier selection from brands like Big Country Raw and Iron Will.

The Liberty Village store is planning to open September 11th, 2021.

Coming out of the pandemic, Arseneault said statistics reveal pet ownership has increased and people are spending more time with their pets. As well, more people enjoy the lifestyle of working from home and spending more time with their pets.

“The pet industry is just skyrocketing,” he said.

According to Momchil from Aquanswers.com, sales of fish tanks and other aquatic supplies are also on the rise. He states, “We are seeing a lot more interest in small tanks in the 5 – 20 gallon range. As more people set up home offices they want to kit them out with items that make it a nice place to work in. Fish tanks help to make an area more interesting and calming to work in.

Ren’s was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Guelph, Ontario. Arseneault said that at the end of this year the company will be at 39 stores. It opened a store in Brampton a couple of weeks ago. It opened a store in Milton on Saturday July 10. In two weeks Fredericton will open. Peterborough and Thornhill will be coming on after the Liberty Village opening.

The stores stock a range of products. This includes aisles of high-quality dog and cat food, displays of treats and toys, plus a special grooming section. There will also be 15 doors or 30 feet of large walk-in freezers for raw and frozen pet food. The store will have kiosks for ordering additional products off the Ren’s website, an expanded click and collect pick up area, plus a larger backroom to accommodate more online orders and same day delivery. The overall look of the store will have a fresh boutique style look, using updated signage, barnboard and brick accents, and new styles of fixtures.

“We’re really excited to open this new urban concept Ren’s store in Liberty Village. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for awhile now but were waiting for the perfect location,” said Arsenault. “Liberty Village has a really passionate pet community. Everywhere you go there are people out and about with their pets, so it’s a great choice for a new Ren’s store.

Image: Ren’s Pets Milton

“We have the demographics to see what the pet spend is in that area and within a five mile radius it’s just off the charts. This will be a full-service Ren’s. This will be look and feel and have everything the pet parent wants.

Larissa Wasyliw, VP of Ecommerce & Marketing at Ren’s Pets, said there are many Ren’s Rewards members from the Liberty Village area that shop with the retailer now in its GTA stores or on the website.

Larissa Wasyliw

“These customers will use the store to shop in with their pets and also use it as a pick up destination for ecommerce orders, plus set up online services like autoship with us because they love the Ren’s brand. We can’t wait to show Liberty Village pet parents that Ren’s is here for your Pet’s Best Life with the best food, treats, and toys you can get, with so many easy and convenient in store and online shopping options available,” she said.

The company also announced recently that it is launching DoorDash service starting in London, Ottawa and Sudbury and will be rolled out to the remainder of the company’s stores in Ontario and the Maritimes by the end of the month.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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