Petcetera closing after 18 years in Great Falls

After 18 years in business in Great Falls, Petcetera is closing.

Owner Sheila Klepps said it’s become “too hard,” with two Walmarts, Petco and the new PetSmart opening in town. Plus online retailers have reduced her foot traffic and sales though Klepps said she sells more items than you can find in the big box stores.

“This town wants big box stores and that’s all they concentrate on,” she said. “I need to retire. It’s time.”

Klepps said she hopes to be out of her leased space by the end of October. She said she would have liked to sell the business or the stock and equipment to someone else in the state looking to start a small pet supply shop, but so far, no takers.

When they started 18 years ago, Klepps said the shop was located near Target on 10th Avenue South for a few years, but the bulk of their time has been in their present location at 1525 10th Ave. S.

The lease has been $2,000 a month, which requires more consistent sales, Klepps said.

“Leasing in this town is very expensive,” she said.

The Wags and Whiskers groomer that has operated in Petcetera has moved to 4800 10th Ave. S. The owner is currently renovating her new space and hoping to re-open for grooming in the next few weeks.

Klepps said she plans to do sales and specials since everything must go as she closes up shop.

She’d like to keep running the store, she said, “but you gotta do what you gotta do. I’m pretty bummed. It’s sad, really sad.