All 358 Pet Valu stores around the U.S. will be closing, said the pet care retailer on Nov. 4, according to CNBC. Jamie Gould, Pet Valu's chief restructuring officer, cited impacts of “protracted COVID-19 restrictions” as a major culprit in the company's decision.
Pet Valu is going out of business
Despite an uptick in pet-related sales for some companies like PetSmart and Petco and the e-retailer Chewy, pet food and supply chain Pet Valu has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pet retailer will shut down all of its 358 U.S. stores and all of its warehouses.
In a release, Gould said, “After a thorough review of all available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to commence this orderly wind down,” according to CNBC.
U.S. customers won't be able to place online orders through the Pet Valu website, but stores in the U.S. will remain open while the gradual closures take place.
Roark Capital Group, a private equity firm, owns Pet Valu. However, Pet Valu Canada, based in Ontario, is a separate company and will continue operations both in-store and online.
Why is Pet Valu closing?
Pet Valu said that the “severe impact from COVID-19” is the main for the closure, according to PRNewsWire. Other pet-supply retailers have flourished, perhaps due to successfully implementing online and curbside options.
A LendingTree survey showed that 34 percent of pet owners have increased their spending on pets since the COVID-19 pandemic started, according to USAToday.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, pet adoptions increased. Many people sought animal companionship amid the lockdowns. Increased pet adoption translated to higher sales for Petco and PetSmart, which both added curbside pick-up services. Chewy even launched its own telehealth service for veterinary care.
Pet Valu sales for liquidation will start soon
The Pet Valu press release stated that it will begin “store closing sales at all locations in the U.S. in the coming days” to liquidate its inventory. Interested pet owners able to visit in-person will likely be able to take advantage of slashed prices during this period.
Gloud said, “The Pet Valu U.S. team is proud to have met the needs of our devoted pet lover customers in the U.S. for more than 25 years,” according to PRNewsWire. Pet Valu gift cards and loyalty rewards are still usable throughout the liquidation process.
Pet Valu is among many companies going bankrupt in 2020
Pet Valu joins multiple other retail companies that have struggled severely in 2020 including JCPenney, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, and Brooks Brothers. All of these companies have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to CNBC.
Many retailers closed their doors temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, but some of them haven't recovered during economic reopenings. Stein Mart, Pier 1 Imports, and Lord & Taylor have been forced to shut down for good. Previous financial hardships compounded throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Forbes reported in May that Pier 1 Imports, along with many other retailers, faced enormous trouble before the coronavirus took hold. The report said that “as with people, the virus has a greater impact on those brands with negative underlying pre-conditions.”