Biz Beat

PetSmart adding a store at Sisk

At my house, one small lemon beagle doesn't have just one doggie bed. Besides the one in the master bedroom, he's got one in the family room. Of course, that doesn't count the beds and couches he takes over when no one is watching.

When it comes to pet stuff in my household, there's a lot more than bedding. Our mutt has two kennels, an endless supply of toys, lots of treats, different leashes and, well, you get the picture.

If any business is recession proof these days, I'd bet it's probably pet-related. From grooming to accessories, it seems there's just no end to what pet owners need -- or want -- for their best friends. So it should come as no surprise that PetSmart is adding a second store in Modesto.

For many years the company has had an outlet at 2100 McHenry Ave., near Bowen Avenue, behind the McDonald's restaurant. The new store will open later this year in the old CompUSA space in the Vintage Commons shopping center on Sisk Road, just north of Vintage Square Mall.

The space has been vacant since CompUSA pulled out a little more than a year ago. The impending arrival of PetSmart fills one of two large vacancies in the strip center with frontage along Highway 99. The site that was formerly home to The Good Guys has been vacant since late 2005.

The new PetSmart, which will occupy about 20,000 square feet, will have a grooming shop, adoption center, veterinary clinic and training area. For those in need of the latest, greatest pet products, the Sisk Road outlet will have more than 13,000 to choose from.

PetSmart has more than 1,000 stores in the United States and Canada. It opens about 100 outlets each year. According to the company, decisions on where to locate new stores are based on demographics and market research that show consumers in an area consider pets part of the family. The company believes there is enough business in Modesto to easily support two stores.

Heck, the PetSmart folks probably are tracking how much the Hill family is spending on its little bundle of trouble and figured everybody in town is doggone crazy about their pets, making this a growth area for such retailers.

I know one member of our family who's excited about the new PetSmart, but then he's not paying for anything. Hey, Honey, can you get your dog out from under the covers on our bed. I can't budge him. All he does is growl.

COFFEE BREAK: Some coffee lovers will be glad to learn that there's a new choice in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, with the addition of Peet's Coffee & Tea at Raley's stores. Peet's, the popular Bay Area company, replaces Java City (which is still available at the company's Aisle 1 gas station convenience stores) at the supermarket chain's in-store counter. Peet's will provide freshly roasted beans, fresh-brewed coffees, specialty teas and espresso drinks. Raley's employees staff the in-store outlets, making drinks Peet's way. Peet's will be rolled out in more than 100 supermarkets over the next three years. But it's already in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, at the new Raley's in Village One Plaza in Modesto and its other supermarkets in the region. Cheers.

Elsewhere on the Business Beat:

What is it: Five Star Cleaners at 1778 Mitchell Road, Suite 208, in Ceres. Phone, 531-0700.

What it does: Five Star Cleaners is a full-service dry cleaning and laundry facility. It offers same-day service for any type of material or laundry, including drapes, wedding garments, shirts, comforters, blankets and sleeping bags. It also does alterations. Everything at Five Star Cleaners is done on-site.

Who runs it: Sargon Hakimi is the owner. Hakimi previously owned a dry cleaning business in Turlock and has 16 years of experience in the industry. Five Star Cleaners opened March 1. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

What makes it special: Five Star Cleaners has new equipment and a new solvent to assist with dry cleaning needs.

What is it: Budget Rent A Car at 401 S. Golden State Blvd., in Turlock. Phone, 664-0972 or Budget Reservations at 800-527-0700. Web site, www.budget.com

What it does: Budget is a car rental business offering a wide selection of vehicles, including minivans, SUVs and 12-passenger vans. It offers unlimited mileage, free roadside assistance and free pickup and drop-off service within a five-mile radius. Budget also has a vehicle-replacement program for those who are having their cars serviced.

Who runs it: John Sheperdson is the district manager. Budget Rent A Car was founded in 1958 and has grown to be a worldwide company. The Turlock location is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

What makes it special: Budget offers special replacement rates and direct billing to insurance companies to help customers avoid out-of-pocket expenses.

Compiled by Jillian Hanks,

Bee newsroom assistant

Have an item for Business Beat? Send it to David W. Hill, Business Editor, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352; or dhill@modbee.com.

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