Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Image: Ren's Pets

Ren’s Pets opens in Saint John

By Scott Pettigrew Mar 31, 2023 | 9:11 AM

A new pet supply store is coming to Saint John.

The Canadian pet food chain will open its 48th location in Saint John at 90 Consumers Drive on April 1. It will be one of three new stores Ren’s Pets has planned for Atlantic Canada this year, with the others in St. John’s and Charlottetown.

The shop is also trying out a new way to make getting pet food easier.

“We will have DoorDash at this location, which is pretty fun to think about,” says Larissa Wasyliw, the vice president of e-commerce and marketing at Ren’s Pets.

“It’s been a great thing …In a pinch for time, you can just do the same-day delivery order from your local store, to your home, right to your doorstep.”

It’s a new way of doing things in a new era of how people think about their pets.

“What we found is that pets are truly part of the family,” Wasyliw explains. “We know how well people want to treat and feed their family. They want to do the exact same thing with their pets.”

That philosophy is what’s brought Ren’s Pets, which started as a stand-alone mom-and-pop pet store just outside of Toronto in Oakville, Ontario in 1975, to the expanding organization that it is today.

“The fastest-growing category at Ren’s is raw frozen food, which is pretty interesting. That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on, is the selection of raw and frozen that we carry in our stores.”

She says customers can expect to see a wall of walk-in freezers carrying these products when they enter the 10,000-square-foot store, which will be managed by Saint John native Kevin Grattan, supported by nine staff members that were hired locally.

Ren’s Pets focuses on dogs and cats, small animals and birds and offers a variety of products from toys to grooming supplies, bowls and feeders to travel carriers.

Wasyliw says the decision to open in Saint John was made in part because of the success of the other Ren’s Pets locations in the Maritimes, but also because the company already had several Saint John region customers via its online sales.

Leveraging connectivity is something the store has taken to heart. In addition to working with DoorDash, Ren’s Pets will also be working with Flashfood, an app that lets customers find food that is nearing its best before date, and buy it at a discount. It was primarily a grocery application but has moved into pet food as well.

“We like that it’s for the environment and sustainability, that the food doesn’t go to waste. That’s a pretty neat, innovative program that we just started working on… it’s another thing that customers can look forward to.”

But even with the conveniences of the internet and direct-to-your-door service, Wasyliw says it’s still worthwhile to have a physical store for people to come and visit, to see the goods they’re getting for their fur family, in person and try them out.

“Pet owners want a social experience with their pets. They absolutely love taking their pets bringing them into the store, talking to our very knowledgeable staff about what their pets are eating, letting the pets run up and down the aisles and pick out their own treats… trying you know coats and sweaters, halters, collars and leashes.”

Owners will get a chance to check out the store in person at the grand opening April 1, where there will be treats for both pets and owners, as well as a pet photographer. The store also features a scale where owners can easily weigh cats and dogs, and talk to staff about diet to make sure their animals are in good health.

“It’s like – how do you take the best of shopping in-store and then …digitally,” she says.  “Combining it for the best omnichannel experience.”

Alex Graham is a reporter with Huddle, an Acadia Broadcasting content partner.


Leave a Reply