Pet Supplies Plus to occupy former Hobby Lobby store at Danville mall

Pet Supplies Plus to occupy former Hobby Lobby store at Danville mall

DANVILLE - By the end of summer, pet owners will have another option in Danville for their pet supply needs when a new Pet Supplies Plus store opens at the Village Mall next to County Market.

Renovations are under way in a 12,000-square-foot section of the 53,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Hobby Lobby, according to Cindy Compton, Village Mall manager.

Local contractors through Offutt Development are doing interior renovations as well as exterior, including creating a main parking lot entrance, window front and marquee.

The pet store will offer a wide variety of pet foods, toys, care items and a variety of small animals, including birds, rabbits, salt and fresh water fish. The store will not sell dogs or cats, but customers are encouraged to bring their dogs and cats in with them to shop.

Niemann Foods, based in Quincy, is developing the store and already has three other Pet Supplies Plus stores in central Illinois, including one on Kirby Avenue in Champaign. Niemann opened its first Pet Supplies Plus store about two years ago in Quincy, and its second one was the Champaign store that opened last year.

Niemann Foods owns County Market Stores in central Illinois, including stores in Champaign, but does not own the County Markets in Danville.

Gerry Kettler, director of consumer affairs for Niemann Foods, said the company has 65 retail outlets altogether, including pet stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and Ace Hardware stores.

The pet supply stores are franchised locations of a Michigan-based chain.

Kettler said people love their pets and are looking for options for quality and affordability.

The Danville store is expected to be open in early August, and hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The store will employ about 20 part-time and full-time workers, and Niemann is planning a job fair in June.

Compton would not release details of the lease except that Niemann signed a long-term agreement with the mall.

"I think it's exciting for all the pet owners in the area to have more choices for what they can buy locally. That's always good," said Compton, who added that prospective tenant activity at the Village Mall has picked up a little recently.

The mall's new Village Commons area, which is devoted to tenants who need office space rather than retail, has been getting a lot of inquiries, she said. Mall officials are in discussions with potential tenants for the Commons space, but no leases have been signed yet.

"Things seem to be picking up a little bit and loosening up. I think there's a little more confidence in the economy," she said.

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