LIVONIA, MICH. — Pet Supplies Plus expects to open 20 new stores after accepting 12 new franchise agreements and one independent conversion since January. This will include the first Pet Supplies Plus store in Washington state, along with additional stores in Texas, Massachusetts, California and Illinois.

"We'll be celebrating our 500-store opening this year, which speaks to the strength of our growing brand and the high rewards that franchising with us offers,” said Chris Rowland, chief executive officer of Pet Supplies Plus.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pet Supplies Plus reported several franchise owners shifted their focus to offering omnichannel services such as online ordering, curbside pickup and same-day delivery. Stores across the country remained open during widespread lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders because pet retail stores were deemed essential businesses by the Department of Homeland Security.

As a result of this, the pet retail franchise recorded 2,275% growth in e-commerce sales from January to April 2020. Pet Supplies Plus also attributed its flexibility and omnichannel development to continued franchise growth.

"We experienced it during the recession, and we've seen it through the first half of this year: the needs and desires of pet parents to provide for their pets remains steadfast," Rowland said. "Pets are family members, and while neighbors stocked up on essentials during this pandemic, they also visited our stores for an escape. We're a quick trip for treats, toys and free resources to keep neighbors' dogs, cats and small pets feeling loved."

Pet Supplies Plus uses the term neighbors to refer to its customers.

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