Outside one small storefront in the Lightfoot Marketplace, a brightly-colored sign stands on the sidewalk, catching the eyes of passersby.
In neon letters, it reads: “HEY Williamsburg WE ARE FINALLY OPEN.”
The long-awaited Pet Valu store near Harris Teeter was first announced in November 2017, and opened officially Feb. 7, store manager Joshua Stanley said.
“People are super happy we’re here,” Stanley said.
Stanley said the store took a while to open because it had to “clear some hurdles.”
The roughly 3,000-square-foot store was one of a slew of Pet Valu stores set to open in recent years, which delayed the opening further.
In 2017, more than 300 Pet Valu stores opened nationwide, Stanley said.
Stanley said sales in the first week at the Lightfoot store are already surpassing some other stores, including one that opened about seven months ago in Virginia Beach.
“This area is absolutely wonderful,” Stanley said. “It’s a very family- and pet-friendly community.”
The self-serve dog wash station had been used more than 60 times as of Friday afternoon.
The store’s grand opening event is scheduled for March 30, starting at 9 a.m.
Pet Valu is still working to partner with local animal rescues for the event, which will have a booth for the rescue to showcase their services. The grand opening will also feature vendor booths for pet food and other items, Stanley said.
The company partners with local animal shelters to host adoption drives.
“Everyone walks in and says the same thing: ‘You’re finally open,’” Stanley said.