ROTTERDAM — A former discount supermarket on Altamont Avenue soon will become the eighth Benson’s Pet Center location.
The local pet supply company is now renovating the space at 1520 Altamont Ave. that Save A Lot vacated last May. It plans to open to the public this spring.
General Manager Moira Nowc said Benson’s had been looking for a space in the Schenectady area for years.
“We have a lot of customers who travel to our Colonie or our Clifton Park store,” she said. “It’ll give us an opportunity to offer delivery out in that area as well.”
Benson’s recently put the news out on its Facebook page and has been getting some requests from customers on features they’d like to see in the new store. This location will potentially have more or different features than the other stores based on their suggestions, Nowc said.
Along with the positive reception on its Facebook page, Benson’s also has gotten some pushback, Nowc said, because the newest location will be right next door to Everything Pets, pet and pet supply store that has operated there for more than a decade. Their concern is that the smaller Everything Pets will suffer in competition.
“Everything Pets is another independent, locally-owned company. We’re not going after their market share,” Nowc said. Benson’s will stock different brands, and “We’re not going to put any live animals in the store.”
The chain of stores that is now Benson’s has its roots in the tropical fish hobby of Ryan Kramer, who created and ran the aquarium department of the original Benson’s in the old Pyramid Mall in Wilton in his early 20s.
He and his father, Frank, bought out Benson’s in 1992 and in the following 30 years they’ve expanded its footprint with stores in Clifton Park, Colonie, Queensbury, Pittsfield and Johnstown. The current Benson’s in Wilton is not far from where the original store was, and earlier this year, the seventh location formally opened on Ballston Avenue in Saratoga Springs.
There’s also Benson’s Fish Room, in Ballston Spa, focusing on the aquarium hobby that started it all for Ryan Kramer.