Petland Discounts has helped keep countless canines, cats, and just about any other pet and its human owners happy. The store known for its catchy jingles may not be so prevalent anymore since the death of owner Neil Padron, the day the music died.
Department of Labor filings indicate that the chain with multiple locations throughout New York may need to shutter the doors to all of its stores in the tri-state area. The Times Ledger reports that every location will close by April 18.
If Petland Discounts is able to stay open beyond April, any sustainable future would mean cutting at least 300 employees across the board, according to filings. The only public comment suggests the company still doesn’t know its fate. Amy Eisenberg, who directs the company’s public relations and is the late owner’s daughter, downplayed the Department of Labor filings as being necessary so that the company would have the option available to permanently close.
“Neil is the sole proprietor, and the family is still trying to figure everything out,” Eisenberg told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Residents and employees in Orange, N.J., about a half hour west of New York, may want to brace for the worst news though. The town’s mayor doesn’t believe the company has a fighting chance after a national representative from the company told him of plans to “permanently close all company operations.” Padron’s death remains the central reason for the uncertainty and talk of closing the stores. Employees across a few rivers in Brooklyn were already resigned to the idea of the store closing.
Tatiana Vazquez, who manages a location in Park Slope, told reporters she had prior knowledge that the stores were closing and already reset her expectations to expect the worst. Vazquez cited online competition as a major problem for a brick-and-mortar store like Petland Discounts, even with its longtime name recognition.
Petland Discounts goes back to September 1965 when Padron opened up his first store in Queens. The company grew to over 100 stores in the tri-state area over a 50-year span, and its offerings grew too. Everything changed early this year though when longtime owner Padron died at the age of 74 on Jan. 14.
Petland Discounts was starting to become a more humane pet store by trying to stop promoting the sales of pets. In June 2010, 62 stores in New York have signed The Humane Society of the United States pledge against Puppy Mills in an effort to stem animal cruelty and focus adoption efforts on rescue animals.
Some of the jingles it was best known for include “Petland Discounts. For people who love pets.” “Petland Discounts. At Petland we care.” “Petland Discounts. For the best care a pet can get.” Another pet store known for catchy phrases was the long-defunct pets.com, because pets can’t drive, as an ad around the year 2000 would have said. The company was one of many to crash out during the dot-com bubble, but it was also one of the many ideas that was ahead of its time. Now online retail could be what sends Petland Discounts to the pet cemetery with pets.com and its goofy sock-puppet mascot.
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