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Merger creates new pet power

BY Dan Berthiaume

Two mid-sized U.S. and Canadian chains are joining forces to create the third-largest pet specialty retailer and the largest small-format, neighborhood specialty pet retailer in North America

Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket have merged to create a combined business named Pet Retail Brands. With more than 930 stores, it is expected to generate approximately $1 billion in system-wide retail sales across the U.S. and Canada. Pet Retail Brands will have stores from the East Coast to the West Coast and from Miami to Vancouver.

Headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Pet Valu is a Canadian retailer with more than 770 stores across Canada and the U.S. more than 770 stores across Canada and the U.S. Headquartered in Sunrise, Florida, Pet Supermarket operates 165 stores in the southeastern U.S. Both chains will remain in their current headquarters locations.

“The combination of these two highly complementary businesses, both long-established brands with strong cultures and deep commitments to local communities and helping pets, will create the leading community-focused pet specialty retailer in North America,” said Ezra Field, managing director of Roark Capital. “Together, both brands will benefit by sharing infrastructure, resources and best practices to deliver superb value to both Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket’s loyal customers, committed employees and business partners.”

As part of the transaction, Thomas McNeely, who has served as CEO of Pet Valu since August 2009, will become president and CEO of Pet Retail Brands. Concurrent with the closing of the transaction, Diane Holtz announced her retirement from her role as Pet Supermarket’s president and CEO. Holtz joined Pet Supermarket in 1992 and has served as president and COO since 2002. She was president and CEO and a member of the board since 2015.

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Amazon lets consumers speak up for Prime Day

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amazon.com has unveiled another new feature for its second iteration of Prime Day, and customer voices will be heard.

The e-tail giant is offering exclusive Prime Day deals for Amazon Prime members who use its Alexa voice-activated artificial intelligence platform through July 12. These offers will be good for eligible shoppers who order products using their voice on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Amazon Tap devices.

Also through July 12, Prime members will receive $10 off their first purchase on any eligible order of more than $20 when they shop using Alexa. To find more exclusive deals on the actual date of Prime Day, July 12, Prime members can ask, “Alexa, what are your Prime Day deals?” or visit the special Alexa Deals page.

“The day has come where you no longer have to visit a screen to shop,” said Assaf Ronen, VP, voice shopping. “I can be standing in my kitchen, when I realize I am almost out of coffee and simply say, ‘Alexa, order Starbucks coffee’ and it shows up at my door within two days.”

Tens of millions of products are now always available to order through Alexa, with more items being added every week. To shop with Alexa, customers must be Prime members with one-click enabled. By combining Alexa with Prime Day, Amazon is exposing the platform and associated shopping devices to millions of potential new users. Given the ease of shopping through Alexa, the retailer also may potentially boost what should be substantial Prime Day sales a little further.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: Monday boost

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Monday's market provided a nice boost of upward mobility to industry stocks.

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