HUDSON — Big-box stores can offer variety and hard-to-beat prices, and owners of small businesses often find it difficult to compete.
The rise of chains such as Petco and Pet Supermarket has led to the demise of many small pet boutiques.
But Debbie Spencer, owner of Pet Food Warehouse, continues to fight the trend.
While some of Spencer’s customers may believe she met the same fate as other small shops — she is no longer at her longtime location in Hudson Square — Pet Food Warehouse is still going strong after moving to Beacon Woods Plaza, just south of Kmart, in early March.
“It just got too expensive,” Spencer said of the store’s former location. “The move definitely helps. Unfortunately, we don’t have the visibility to U.S. 19 we once did.”
The new location not only offers Spencer lower rent, but, at 1,000 square feet, is slightly larger than her previous storefront.
Pet Food Warehouse is an independently owned pet food and supply store that has been serving the Hudson area since 1992. Spencer helped open and manage the store until purchasing the business in 1999 from the original owner. But the industry has seen significant changes during the past 25 years, not only with the rise of the large chains, but also with Internet-based companies that ship directly to customers’ homes.
Before the arrival of the large retail chains, Pet Food Warehouse was three times its current size, with several…