PetSmart Opens First Of Two Brooklyn Locations On Atlantic Avenue

PetSmart celebrated the opening of the first of two new Brooklyn locations Monday, with Borough President Marty Markowitz attending for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In addition to a dizzying assortment of food and pet accessories, the 15,000-square-foot superstore at 238 Atlantic Avenue offers the full-service Banfield Pet Hospital, grooming, accredited training, adoption facilities and regular events for local and national charities, as well as prescription foods and medications. The location also sells fish, birds, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and reptiles.

Markowitz noted at the Nov. 7 opening, “Pets are so important in people’s lives; they become their lives,” then joked, “What took you so long to get here?” as he displayed a photograph of his own African Grey Parrot “Beep” and shopped with his wife for bird food.

Store manager Scott Marcus told BHB that the new PetSmart brings 30 jobs to the neighborhood, and that he hopes to prove big-box retailers can offer the same care and customer service as local vendors: “The range of pets that our staff has owned and taken care of is amazing. Our people really care about animals and are knowledgeable about every product in the store.”

The Atlantic Avenue location is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A second new Brooklyn PetSmart in Canarsie is at 8725 Avenue D. In all, the chain has 1,200 North American stores.

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  • Doug Biviano

    Another Marty-mart. Really?

    I’m truly saddened. Marty, in your pushing for big boxes you seem to be thoroughly missing the point of OWS and Brooklyn’s middle class for that matter. Oh the irony…

  • Knight

    Well, Doug, maybe that’s why Marty keeps getting elected & you don’t. What have you done to bring jobs to the community?

  • Jim

    i, too, am very saddened at how this is going to impact the many mom & pop pet stores in cobble hill & the heights. in addition, i moved to nyc, in part, to escape the suburban cookie cutter stores. not we are being littered with them :(

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I, for one, welcome PetSmart to the neighborhood.
    The middle class does not shop primarily in the Mom and Pop pet stores. My snooty cat only eats a brand that I can only obtain in the local supermarket or a “big box” pet store. The local supermarket is probably charging 15-20% more than PetSmart.
    Has anyone seen the lines nearly out the door at Trader Joe’s?
    That’s where I see many of my neighbors who are also looking for good value and fresher food than can be obtained at our local supermarkets.
    I would say that I am now buying 50% of my groceries at TJ’s rather than at my local supermarket. I would not call them a “big box” store but they are pulling business away from the local stores.
    The bottom line is that it’s a bad economy and people are looking to get the most bang for the buck.
    What’s wrong with that?

  • Western Brooklyn

    A Home Depot & Walmart for pets?

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I just got back from the new PetSmart. I met the manager, Scott.
    Everyone was very friendly and helpful. I saved at least 10% on my purchase and since I am in that area a few times a week buying from my favorite store, Trader Joe’s, I will continue to buy from them.
    A note to Doug Biviano:
    PetSmart’s grand opening is this Saturday at 9AM.
    In all fairness, if you really want to know what your constituents are
    thinking, you should stand outside the store and ask them.
    Ask them why they would rather shop in a “big box” store than in a local Mom and Pop pet store.
    I have already given my answer and that is to save money!

  • eva

    I went to 4 of the local mom & pop petstores for items I needed for my daughter’s iguana. No one carried it. PetSmart did, and for a great price. As a part of Brooklyn’s “middle class” I welcome PetSmart to the neighborhood.

  • Lori

    I also welcome Petmsart with open arms. I am all for small business, mom and pop stores, however when those stores have prices significantly higher than stores liek Petsmart, and don’t even offer a reward program, like the Petsmart Petperks program, I have to stand firm and support the place where I get the most bang for my buck. Almost all of the pet stores, especially on Smith street have prices that are outrageous! For example, a large can of Iams proactive at one of the stres i have shoppped at was $1.49 compared to Petmsart’s price of 99 cents….I would support the smaller businesses if they kept their prices at a reasonable level and offered some sort of rewards or frequent shopper program. Welcome to the neighborhood, Petsmart!

  • hw

    Part of the big-chain formula is to open with a friendly face and super low prices. Once they secure a customer base and put competition out of business, the prices go way up and the good customer service disappears. Even if it seems like a nice store with low prices now, I guarantee it won’t be in the future. I do not welcome Petsmart.

  • epc

    I see the AstroTurf brigade is out in force today.

    Chain stores can afford lower prices by buying in bulk quantities simply impossible for our locally owned and operated stores to match. Further, many manufacturers set a minimum price which smaller stores can’t price below precisely because they can’t buy a million units of freeze dried iguana meal at a time.

    Many of you whine about the changing face of Brooklyn, and then promptly turn your backs on your neighborhood businesses.

    I’m quite happy with Sammy at Pet’s Emporium, the guys at Perfect Paws, and Hannah and Jenny at Monstermutt and won’t be shopping at this Petsmart.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I have been to many “big box” pet stores and their prices continue to remain much lower than the smaller Mom and Pop pet stores.
    The two small bags of cat food that I purchased today at PetSmart were 33 cents cheaper than in our local Keyfood and a whole dollar cheaper than Gristede’s. The people who choose to shop at the local Mom and Pop stores will continue to do so.
    At least now the rest of us have an option to go elsewhere. I like having a choice. I consider myself a smart shopper.

  • Shirley Palugyay

    Congrats on the opening of your new store Scott, know you will make it very successful. i am in Michigan and my daughter shops at the loca lPetSmart store in the Detroit area.
    Speaking of Trader Joe’s, my favorite store, I like to save money also.

  • Western Brooklyn

    In addition to what epc wrote above, I think the gigantic superstores may also be more likely to get their massive quantities of inventory directly from places like China & India, where slave, prison, & child labor laws are very weak or non-existent, if that matters to any of you bargain hunters here.

  • WillowtownCop

    There’s a reason some shops are successful and some are not – Starbucks popped up everywhere when people started realizing how bad bodega coffee actually is. Selection and price are more important than politics for a lot of people.

    I disagree about big boxes raising their prices after luring people in – Target and Trader Joe’s haven’t done that, and the slave labor in China comment – a $25 box of Frontline came from the same factory as a $45 box.

    I will be shopping at Petsmart – they have a bigger selection of food that my cat, who has allergies, is able to eat.

  • GHB

    I will continue giving my business to Sahmi, Rocco & Jezebel and Perfect Paws. If everybody cared about just saving a few bucks, Barnes & Noble would have swallowed Book Court long ago!

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    If you can find all the things that you need at the smaller pet stores, then good for you.
    For me it’s not just about saving a few bucks. It’s also about
    having a bigger choice and a better selection.

  • Eddyenergizer

    hw has a point. Almost 20 years ago Home Depot rolled into town. As a contractor I welcomed the super low prices, at that time 25% – 50% lower than the local lumberyards, plumbing and electrical supply houses. It was great boost in my profits and very convenient as I could get everything for a job in one place. The orgy lasted for several years but alas I feared it would not last… sure enough the competition fell one by one, till most all the old places were gone. Then the prices slowly creeped up and the customer service started to decay. Now their prices are basically market, their selection has downsized and their inventory maddeningly sporadic. Sure they still have good deals here and there but overall they are pathetic. What really sucks, now there is almost nowhere else to go.

  • bklyn20

    The EXACT SAME box of Iams dog biscuits I buy from Sahmi every week for $10.99 were $14.99 at the Union Square Petco last weekend. Oh, and if you allow Petco to have your email and become a Petco Pal, the biscuits are $13.99. Wonder how much at Petsmart?

    I know one of the new commenters will tell me.

    Not everything is cheaper at the chain store — and the collars and leashes are generally CVS pet aisle quality.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    There is only one Andrea. I’ll continue to go to Rocco & Jezebel for my cat needs. I’m all for choice but there is something intrinsically satisfying in buying a product from a native Brooklyn Heights resident small business owner. John and Andrea shop and eat in the immediate nabe and that is good for local businesses in the area. Yes, I am provincial. I love Brooklyn Heights. By all means, though, everyone should have the right to shop where they want without a guilt trip.

  • Western Brooklyn


    Yes, it sure does seem like a scam for businesses like Home Depot to open gigantic superstores, hire loads of people at minimum wage to run them, drive out all the competition in the area with low prices at first, & then have a monopoly situation for themselves!!!

  • hw

    @Willow St. Neighbor,
    Um, Griestede’s and Key Food are not Mom & Pop stores. Those would be examples of other big chain stores who can charge higher prices because they’ve pushed competition out of the neighborhood.

  • Bklyn Doggie Mommie

    If the local pet shops could offer me the selection that PetSmart does, then I’d choose them. But they don’t. My dog’s premium brand holistic food isn’t sold at most of the local shops, and the ones that do sell it only offer the small 4.5 lb bag for way too much money. PetSmart sells the full line of that food in all the sizes and flavors, and for less money. I am part of the “middle class”, work hard for my money, and don’t like throwing it away by overpaying at small shops which don’t offer me the selection that I need.

    It’s one thing to support local shops and products like produce, foods, restaurants, craft liquors/bitters, etc., that actually offer you something different and/or better than the mass-market products and chains. It’s another thing entirely to spend more hard-earned money on the exact same product, by the same brand, from the same factory.

  • Hicks St Guy

    two more pet supply stores, just what we (don’t) need.

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I stand corrected!

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    I also love Andrea and John. They are fantastic people.
    But they do not offer the kind of cat food that my cat eats.
    I would love to shop in their store more often but other than needing an occasional toy for my two “granddogs”, I stick to the supermarket or the “big box” pet stores.
    Actually, I have to admit that I cook for my cat every day and supplement with the only dry cat food that she will eat, Fancy Feast. I have tried ALL the premium cat foods in all of the Mom and Pop pet stores in the Heights and on Court Street to no avail.
    She will not eat anything other than chicken tenders from TJ’s and her Fancy Feast dry food.

  • HenryStreet

    i see so many complaints that the small shops do not carry your particular brand/product — i wonder if anyone has tried asking them to carry it? one of the good things about supporting local business, is that a lot of times you can get an answer rather than send a question to corporate headquarters. often the “corporate headquarters” will be standing right behind the register! :-)

    secondly….. you gotta understand that when you support these big box stores, you’re draining money out of our community. all the profits get diverted to the corporate headquarters. petsmart seems to be phoenix, arizona.

    third… a big part of what makes this city special, i think, is that new york isn’t like the rest of america. i have a friend in a band. i went out on tour a few times, and got to take a look at life in the rest of america. how dull — the sameness of everything to be found in everyplace. same chain restaurants. same chain stores. same empty box stores, abandoned and replaced by a larger box store down the road. same sad empty down towns.

    this lower prices at any cost mentality will be the death of america.

    people keep diverting their money out our community and our nation, and look where it’s gotten us so far. but you’re feeling pretty good about yourself because you save a couple bucks on your pet food. do you feel so good when your neighbor has to close shop? eventually your only option will be the big box, brightly lit with florescent light tubes — and you probably won’t even notice all the shuttered shops you pass along the way, as you clutch your corporate loyalty club card.

    no harm in saving a few cents, right?

  • Amanda

    I shop at a variety of places to get the supplies I need for myself and pets.

    When I’m in the city (NYC) I shop wherever the product I need is available.

    If Petsmart is able to stock things I need, like Zupreem Fruit Blend Parrot Pellets, for example, it’ll save me the postage and delivery of ordering online, and save money by getting the large size bag rather than the tiny bag offered at another local store.

    But – this doesn’t mean I will only shop there. I will continue to “make the rounds” of the stores that are on my routes to get the quality and value I need for my pets.

    Some stores are great with certain items quality and price-wise, and others simply don’t have anything remotely like what you’re looking for at that time.

    I have a pretty good idea by now who has what, and the smaller stores are still great to me, so I will continue to go there as well as Petsmart.

    Most local stores do not carry a good line of “Exotics” supplies, (space, supply and demand) and as a parrot-person, I have to consider this on my rounds.

    My dog and cat are flexible, only my cat has to be on Hills W/D, with fresh food I make for him to round out his diet. My dog eats the Trader Joe Holistic Formula, also with homemade food to supplement, and biscuits from various stores. She really eats lots of apples, carrots, celery, brown rice.

    – Amanda

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Henry Street,
    I think the small pet stores are making most of their money by offering “pet grooming” and sometimes bed boarding.
    I think I overheard a pet store owner say that they charged $90 to groom a cat! Surely my hearing is going as well as my eyesight.

  • Doug Biviano

    >people keep diverting their money out of our community and our nation, and look where it’s gotten us so far.

    In the spirit of HenryStreet’s long view, which I agree is consistent with the facts on the ground, check out MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan epic televised rant pinning the tail on the donkey (and elephant):

    So Marty, why don’t you push for ‘Medicare for All’ (like all other industrial nations) so our Made in USA businesses can compete internationally and afford to manufacture in NYC once again? And our hard working people can save again? And our great city can save tens of billions annually on benefits and HHC hospitals? You and Bloomberg with your parrot on your shoulder can drive to Washington in a Ford ambulance from one of the closed NYC hospitals to lobby Obama to bail out the people in our cities and states instead of whatever the mission of the day is in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya or the next trillion dollar war of choice with unintended outcome. You can have your parrot repeat to Obama, “NYC want a cracker.”

    It’s not the few dollars more for a bag of dog food that breaks my bank. It’s things like the $6,500 bill I just got from my 4 y.o. child’s 4 day visit to the hospital for an Asthma attack (the total bill was close to $20k). We’re still waiting for the bill for my other kid’s broken arm. It’s also the $300 per month to bus our oldest to a decent public middle school on the other side of Brooklyn. For many families, I bet the $4 per gallon fuel prices really cleans them out, yet there’s renewed clamor for war on Iran, really?!?

    I would add that Sam didn’t carry a Hills science diet for our late dog of 14 years. We asked him and he stocked it just for us. That’s the big difference with local mom & pops. Further, as a building super, I can’t tell you the world of difference between Bruno’s Hardware and Home Depot or Lowe’s. I walk in, hand the part to the man at the plumbing counter. He reaches and voila, the part I need appears in seconds. If not, he’ll get it “by Tuesday.” The big boxes never have the parts (mainly full replacement) and customer service or even a floor rep. is nowhere to be found. From my younger days building, the local lumber yard delivered the same quality knowledge and service…pulled the order and delivered to your doorstep for no extra charge. I would also add that both plumbing counter employees have been at Bruno’s since I returned to the Heights in 2000 (actually most of the staff has been)…my guess is because they make a living wage.

    When politicians like Marty enthusiastically usher in a local living wage job destroying big box and the profit extraction begins, well, this is why folks are occupying Wall Street but should instead be occupying Albany, Borough/City Halls, Washington and the voting booths to end their local politician’s dream jobs for life/3rd terms.