By PAUL SIMS
Those operating a recently-opened store in Starkville will be going into its first holiday retail season hoping shoppers will keep pets in mind while community officials encourage local spending.
The owners of North Mississippi Pet Supply opened the store the last week of August in about 2,000-square-feet of retail space.
The stores co-owners are Mark Threet and Thom Gordon.
âWeâve been talking about it as many years as Iâve known Thom,â Threet said, adding they had nowhere nearly to go for especially after Gone Fishinâ, a pet store in downtown Starkville, closed.
They spent their spare time researching reptiles and it âjust kind of grew from there,â Threet said.
Allison Matthews, vice president of membership and community development, says several new businesses have opened in Starkville throughout this year.
One of these is North Mississippi Pet Supply.
Plus, âweâve had several more businesses that have had the opportunity to grow. Numerous businesses have relocated where they could expand their merchandise or be in a better location to serve their customers,â Matthews said.
â ... Throughout the year, despite hearing news that was not as good on the national scale, Starkville businesses have really done well in 2010. Therefore, thereâs a lot of great choices for people shopping in Starkville. Thereâs just so many retail stores that have wonderful gift selection, whether thatâs home decor, electronics ... thereâs just a great variety of anything you could want available here in Starkville. Over the year in 2010 we can definitely see that the selection has grown,â Matthews said.
She says based on the number of ribbon cuttings and businesses âweâve had the opportunity to help celebrate new locations for existing businesses or brand-new businesses,â there is more retail to choose from now in Starkville than there was a year ago.
âI certainly would encourage everyone as they do their shopping
to please shop Starkville first. This is an important time of year for retail businesses and we have so much to choose from; thereâs no reason for us to look any further than our local merchants,â Matthews said.
âMoney spent locally stays local by creating local jobs and funding community improvements through the tax revenues. So in addition to consumers saving money and gas by staying close to home, theyâre actually doing a great community service by shopping in their home community,â she said.
Regarding a goal for the holiday season at North Mississippi Pet Supply, Threet said it is âto create a ... variety and encourageâ people to remember their pets at the holiday season. Theyâre part of the family too.â
The main thing the staff at North Mississippi Pet Supply does is take special orders and requests, Threet said.
If a customer doesnât see what they need, chances are the staff can order the item and have it in within a week or two, he said, adding âthis goes for pets as well as retail items.â
Threet said: âOur main goal is for people to come in and say âWow, they have something newâ every time they come in,â adding store personnel try to bring in new items as often as theyâre able.
He also said: âThis is the only pet store in town. We want to meet and exceed expectations for what people want.â Threet added that people are welcome to bring in their pets.
The store also adopts out cats for Oktibbeha County Humane Society.
Plus, Stefanie Fulgham offers full-service grooming inside the store through her business known as Pretty Paws.
Grooming is available Tuesday through Saturday â appointments are suggested but walk-ins are welcome.
Day staff members are Heather Gilbert and Whitney Holeman, as is Stephen Austin.
Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It is located at 823-D Highway 12 West.
For information, call 461-7387.