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Published July 07, 2010, 05:23 PM

Grand Forks Business Closing After 37 Years

A local, long-time pet store at the Grand Cities Mall is closing its doors.

By: Brady Mallory, WDAZ

A local, long-time pet store at the Grand Cities Mall is closing its doors. Employees at Stonegate Pet Center said with more places selling pets and pet supplies it was hard to compete.

"Everyone comes in. They enjoy the animals and the fish. That's the nice part about being here," said store owner Andrew Gleich.

With national retailers like Wal-Mart and Petco and internet pet sites as tough competition, Stonegate Pet Center will not be here much longer.

" We kind of realized it was going to happen a while ago," said Gleich.

The pet center has been a part of the Grand Cities Mall since 1974, but after July 20th, 37 years later, this customer-favorite will close its doors.

"Most of them are shocked. They say, 'no you can't you can't'. This is our pet store since we were children. A lot of them are disappointed."

Stonegate is an example of a tough economy for small businesses. But the mall manager says even though the pet center is closing, the rest of the mall will be fine.

"It's actually 99 percent full at this point," said Grand Cities Mall Manager, Mary Noel.

Noel said interest is growing, and a number of businesses want to rent space here because Grand Cities mall is a destination for shopping. Linda Toren, who works at Attractions Hair and Nail Salon across from Stonegate, said their business is doing well.

" We're sad to see any store close. But, we're steady. It shouldn't affect us. We just keep on trucking,"

It is the end of the road for Andrew Gleich.

" Simple economics. The revenue wasn't as high as the expenses we needed to keep going. It was a nice 37 years, you know," said Gleich.

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