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Ren’s Pets Announces 8 Store Openings for 2023 in New Canadian Markets [Interview]

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Ren’s Pets is expanding by eight new stores in 2023 and are planning to continue to expand and fill in gaps throughout Canada, one of these stores is going to be opening in Newfoundland – a province Ren’s Pets have not been in yet.

“It is an Ontarian and Maritimes expansion, and at this point we are filling in the gaps,” says Scott Arsenault, the CEO of Ren’s Pets. “I have been with Ren’s Pets for eleven years and the one thing that keeps coming back to me is we need more stores. Every market we have gone into we haven’t had one Ren’s Pets that was unsuccessful, which is exciting as we have never needed to close a store in 47 years. It is just about opportunities and how we will make sure we live up to each one.”

“Three of the stores are out in the Maritimes which is really exciting,” says Larissa Wasyliw, the VP of E-commerce and Marketing for Ren’s Pets. “We have five stores out there right now and this will be another three and PEI and Newfoundland are brand new provinces for us, so that will be exciting. The whole Eastern Canada seems to be welcoming to Ren’s Pets so it is exciting to be able to build our store network in that area. So the next eight stores that are for 2023 really start to build Ren’s Pets in a way we have not done before.”

Rendering: Ren’s Pets The Junction

Below are the eight new stores that will be opening.

  • St. John New Brunswick, located at 90 Consumers Drive. This store will be 9889 square feet and will be opening in April.
  • Brockville, located at 2098 Parkdale Avenue in Ontario. This store will be 8600 square feet and will be opening in April.
  • St. John’s Newfoundland, located at 56 Aberdeen Avenue. This will be the first Ren’s Pets in Newfoundland. It will be 9996 square feet and will be opening in April.
  • St. Thomas, located at 1063 Talbot Street in Ontario. This store will be 8100 square feet and will be opening in May.
  • Cornwall, located at 501 Tollgate Road in Ontario. This store will be 6650 square feet and will be opening in May.
  • Oakville, located at 270 North Service Road in Ontario. This will be the second store in Oakville, along with its flagship store. It will be 6900 square feet and will be opening in June.
  • Charlottetown, located at 80 Buchanan Drive in Prince Edward Island. This will be the first store in PEI. It will be 6700 square feet and is opening in July.
  • Owen Sound, located at 1555-18th Avenue East, Sydenham Heights in Ontario. This will be 9200 square feet and will be opening in August.

Two New Provinces

Ren’s Pets decided to open stores in two new provinces, Newfoundland and PEI, as they continue to look for new opportunities to expand across Canada. And Ren’s Pets has been waiting for these locations for a while. As winter months can be harsh in Newfoundland, Arsenault said with the larger store, 9996 square feet, it can stock more products in case there are issues with shipping.

Scott Arsenault

“That was our A site and our A demographic. Newfoundland has long been on our list, we just wanted to make sure that we move with the full support of the team. One of the things we talk about for your pet’s best life is food as it is the number one requirement for any pet parents and making sure you are not switching or transitioning it. So, we need to make sure that this store is stocked appropriately and that it has enough weeks of supply that if there were any interruptions we would be able to serve the pet community really well so that is going to be an exciting one,” says Arsenault.

Arsenault said they see the maritimes being a 12-15 store market and are looking to opening more in the East Coast soon, and “even Newfoundland could be a multiple store market, it is just a matter of filling out all the gaps.

Second Location in Oakville

Gus in Dieppe (Image provided by Ren’s Pets)

Oakville is where Ren’s Pets opened its first location 47 years ago, and in June – it will be opening its second location there.

Larissa Wasyliw

“Oakville is going to be our second location there. The first one is our flagship store and the first ever Ren’s Pets, so we are excited to be able to build a second location in that area. What is really fun about the other seven stores, is that we have been traditionally a GTA type of company, so this really starts to fill out the rest of Ontario,” says Wasyliw.

As Oakville is growing in size and in population, Arsenault said it is getting tougher for people to travel from the top end of Oakville to the bottom as it can take around thirty minutes.

“Oakville is one of the leading cities in Canada in terms of population, demographics, and in pets spend. We feel like we are undeserving the south, so we are looking to put a store that will be readily available for those consumers and we just wanted to be more localized to the south end of Oakville,” says Arsenault.

Future Expansion Plans

Rendering: Ren’s Pets Sarnia

The eight stores that will be opening in 2023 were the only ones discussed; however, Ren’s Pets will be making its way across Canada. Arsenault said the minimum goal for Ontario would be to have around 100 stores and will expand to go all the way to British Columbia.

“We have a wish list. We see Ontario to be a minimum of around 100 stores, so that is what we have mapped out. We are going to head out West at some point and open more stores in the Maritimes. We have done really well in Ottawa and we have learned a lot through our two Halifax stores, so those lessons are really going to help us now as we look out West, We have been giving out a road map to fill out the rest of Canada, but we just have to do it in a manner that is responsible and aggressive – but not reckless,” says Arsenault.

Wasyliw and Arsenault said Ren’s Pets as a loyalty program, along with other data information, that helps them collect data information from customers and use the information to help find site selections and where their customers are coming from. In the next five years, Arsenault said he can see opening around a 100, but they have to wait for the right opportunity to come to them.

“We are very solid in who we are, we really believe we are here for your pets best life and that is what our employees stand behind. That is one thing that makes Ren’s Pets different is our core values and what we believe in as a company. Our brand is well recognized as it is Canadian owned and operated – which means a lot to people these days. Customers know when they are coming to us, they are getting the best food, the best treats, and the best pet toys they can get. Pets are family, and we are here to support them. The company started 47 years ago and how amazing it is that we now have 44 stores, two more to open, and eight more next year – it is just a great Canadian story.”

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Article Author

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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