Competition for pet owners' pocketbooks set to begin at Nugget Mall

It may turn out to be survival of the fittest at the Nugget Mall as two pet stores prepare to compete.

Petco plans to open its doors on Jan. 2. The pet store has more than 1,000 locations. TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners purchased Petco in 2006 for $1.8 billion.

However, there is already a pet store located at the Nugget Mall.

Wee Fishie Shoppe is a pet supply store located at 9342 Glacier Highway in a freestanding building in the Nugget Mall Shopping Center. It is a mall tenant.

Wee Fishie’s website says the store specializes in small mammals and tropical fish and sells pet supplies and food. The site reminds visitors that Wee Fishie is “Your Local Pet Store.”

Wee Fishie has declined to comment. Petco was not available to comment at presstime.

Bud Jaeger, on-site property manager for Nugget Mall, said that Petco was going to move to Juneau anyway, it just worked out for the Nugget Mall that Petco moved in with them.

“The Nugget Mall owners are in the business of leasing spaces,” Jaeger said. “Usually when the larger stores come to see us, they have already done their study of the marketing area and have decided to locate a store in that area. We know that they are going to locate in Juneau, the question is where,” Jaeger said. “We then consider if they will be a possible good tenant for the mall. In this case, yes, they will be a competitor to the Wee Fishie Shoppe. However, (Petco) would be a competitor to them wherever they locate in Juneau,” he said.

Jaeger said the Nugget Mall owners showed concern for Wee Fishie.

“It is our hope that the Wee Fishie can continue in business, along with the competition from Petco,” Jaeger said.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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