Pet Valu is one of the new stores opening in the mall attached to No Frills in Slave Lake. It will likely open mid-October. The store is owned by the corporation, which hopes to find a manager and staff from the community.
Mike Keweriga is the regional director for central Canada at Pet Valu. He’s based in Winnipeg, but will be moving shortly to Regina. He is the director for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba stores.
Keweriga was not involved in the decision to start a store in Slave Lake, but says, “we are focused on hitting some rural communities.” In general when looking at new store locations, the company looks at whether the store is “profitable and helps pets at the same time.”
“We’re (Pet Valu) a pet specialty store,” says Keweriga. “Our main goal is to work with the community.” Pet Valu has two big animal shelter fundraiser events each year, with each store supporting its local shelter. Building a relationship with the local shelter is done by the store manager, who as of August 24 hadn’t been hired.
“We coach our teams and our ‘aces’ (presummably what Pet Valu calls its workers) to be very knowledgeable,” says Keweriga. The company’s goal is to have its “level of service roughly the same” across Canada.
“We dabble in it all,” says Keweriga, when asked what Pet Valu sells. This ranges from pet food to health and wellness to pet accessories. People are encouraged to bring their pets inside the store to check the size. Pet Valu is interested in working with a local rescue to have house pets for adoption. Depending on shipping, it might also carry beta fish, but won’t have other pets for sale.
Pet Valu was founded in Toronto in 1976. There are stores across the country. In Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba there are around 60 stores, with some in communities of around 7,000 people.