Petco issued a statement regarding the “difficult but necessary” decision to close its Drs. Foster and Smith business in Rhinelander, Wisconsin to focus on its core business and customers and streamline operations, citing the shifting preferences of modern pet parents and the ongoing evolution of its brand.

The closure is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2019 and will affect 289 employees, who will be let go over the next 60 to 120 days, according to Petco. The employees have been notified and will receive severance and transition support from Petco.

“This decision has not been an easy one, nor has it been made lightly, and we appreciate that it has a very real effect on both individuals and the broader community in Rhinelander,” said Petco. “In an effort to help, we’re committed to working with local officials to provide ample outplacement programming for those impacted starting in February. We greatly appreciate all of our partners for their dedicated service and contributions to Drs. Foster and Smith and to Petco.”

Drs. Foster and Smith was a veterinary-owned online pet supply company founded in 1983. Petco acquired the company in 2015.

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