Better conversation and customer service, I can actually hobby talk with the employees b/c they know what they are doing. Better quality fish and plants. Prices are bit higher but I don't mine paying more for a better experience.I read today that of the almost 16 billion dollar annual U.S. pet store market.
The two biggest market share holders were:
PetSmart - 40%
PetCo - 20%
I was astounded. Two companies holding 60% of the entire pet store market.
I have nothing against either one of these companies. I buy from PetSmart on a semi-regular basis, and probably would buy from PetCo too if they were in my area.
But it amazes me that specialty shops and "mom and pop" pet stores are being so completely crushed out of the marketplace.
I've always thought about "retiring" into owning and operating a pet store (focusing on aquaria of course), but I'm not sure if passion alone is enough to keep one out of bankruptcy court in the long run.
I'm interested in hearing some ideas about what the members think an independent store can offer that a big chain can't or won't.