If you’re among the 46 percent of the population with a dog, you’ll soon be able to take your furry friend to a local doggie Disneyland.
After 29 years in business, Todd Reber’s vision for Reber Ranch, one of the largest feed and supplies retailers in the area, is about to come to fruition.
“His vision was a kind of doggie Disneyland. So, to have all the services, as well as a retail store, and a place for events, a place for shows, all those kinds of things in one place,” said general manager Bill Greene.
In early September, the store completed the first expansion in nearly a decade, adding a full-service horse boarding facility, a veterinary hospital, a professional grooming salon and a seven-bay do-it-yourself dog wash to its existing list of amenities and services.
The ranch’s new horse boarding facility, which was converted from self-care stalls, features fully remodeled 10-by-12-foot stalls, indoor wash racks, individual lockers and cross-tie areas. The property also features two large outdoor arenas, a covered arena and a covered round pen.
The new grooming salon offers a line of services, including nail trimming, bathing, standard grooming and ear cleaning, while the fully equipped hospital features services from routine vaccinations to surgery for small animals.
Because it had never offered some of these amenities, particularly the hospital and salon, they are slowly growing their clientele, Greene said, noting the new services have been well received.
“It’s really created an opportunity for our business to grow,” said Greene. “People are really excited because it’s now kind of now a one-stop shop for our customers and their pets. For years, people have come to us and bought their pets supplies or their horse supplies and have wanted to know, ‘What vet or what grooming do you recommend in the area?’ Now, we have it all in one location.”
The 18,000-square-foot store was also redone last month.
“We put all brand new shelving in, that’s always a pretty big, dramatic change for a retail store, and we lowered the profile” explained Greene. “You’re able to see across the store better, which we’re really finding customers like. They’re just able to tell where the bird department is or where the horse department is. It’s a lot easier.”
The new shelves, although lower, have about 18 percent more space, allowing the store to carry a wider variety of products.
The store’s growth will continue next spring, when Reber Ranch renovates the 15,000-square-foot barn next door. When it opens, it will be like a small amusement park for man’s best friend, with a doggie daycare, a pet hotel and an indoor agility course.
Greene said he expects the daycare to accommodate 40 to 50 dogs and the hotel to handle about 100 or 120 pets per nights.
“The agility will be a pay-for-use place for you to come get out of the elements indoor. It will have all the courses you run, with jumps and hoops and stairs,” Greene explained.
When all is said and done, Reber Ranch will significantly outsize its original 2,500-square-foot facility, which burned down in the 90s.
Greene attributes his staff’s attention to detail and the store’s extensive selection to the store’s success.
“The economy has been pretty tough for businesses over the last three or four years,” Greene said. “The great thing about pet supply business is it’s a bit more resilient.”
During the recession, the store experienced little to no growth, but in 2013, it’s outpacing the industry average, with five to six percent growth, compared to three or four percent.