SOME 100 jobs are to be created here on the back of a €100 million expansion programme by leading European pet supplies retailer Maxi Zoo.
Part of the German-owned Fressnapf group, Maxi Zoo already has four stores in Ireland — in Longford, Limerick and two Cork-based outlets in Midleton and Ballincollig. Of its 1,000 European stores, the Midleton outlet is the only one which actually operates as a traditional pet shop, selling live animals.
The rest of the retail network sells pet accessories and supplies.
The new plan for the Irish operation will see 20 additional stores opening here within the next five years, with 100 jobs being created as a direct result.
The first of the new stores will open in Dublin and Kildare in November.
“The Irish pet industry has seen changes in recent years, with smaller pet stores being replaced by larger outlets.
“Like Aldi and Lidl, Maxi Zoo operates a discounter business model.
“The additional stores will drive greater competition, which will result in significant savings to the Irish consumer.
“With Ireland’s pet food and pet care products market currently valued at around €199.7m and set to be worth €205.4m by 2010, we are confident of continued success in the Irish Market,” commented Maxi Zoo managing director, Tony Cross.
“One of our success factors is that we orientate ourselves closely to the wishes of our customers and have something in common with them.
“We are all animal lovers and this sets us apart from the majority of the competition. Our staff are trained as pet experts and can offer free advice in store,” he added.
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