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Pet store closing doors

Pet Country has billed itself as the place pet owners find everything they need "Under One Woof."

That's about to change.

Grange Co-op's specialty store, which competes with the likes of national retailers Petco and PetSmart, among others, is closing its 2833 N. Pacific Hwy., retail store at the end of business Saturday.

Pet Country employees and merchandise will be dispersed to Grange Co-ops other locations where pet departments will grow to handle increased traffic.  The Central Point store was the first to take on a new look last month and seven other Grange Co-ops are following suit.

"At the time we opened Pet Country our other stores were smaller," Grange Co-op CEO Barry Rubino said. "Now they're bigger and we have room for large pet departments in our other stores."

The Grange Cooperative acquired the 2.05-acre property for more than $1.2 million in June 1993 and opened the 34,124-square-foot store and warehouse in 1995. The co-op moved its headquarters from Central Point to the Pet Country location four years ago. Front office operations and warehouse activity will remain at the site.

Reviewing customer data, Rubino said earlier this year, Pet Country clients tended to visit other Grange stores on the same day.

"For a while, we've had four stores within a six-mile radius," Rubino said. "Part of our service model is hinged on the convenience of our locations, and forcing our customers to shop between our locations no longer seems to fit our service model. In today's retail environment, you shouldn't have too many stores in a small geographic area. Our main competition has come from our other stores."

After adding a store in Yuba City, Calif.,  earlier this year, Pet Country becomes the second closure announced by Grange Co-op this year. The Coos Bay Grange Co-op was unable to find a suitable location after the property it leased was sold and will shutter at the end of the year.

“It’s a tumultuous time now for retail,” Robino told the Coos Bay World, “It’s hard to justify new stores unless you have a prime location."

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.