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Valley specialty retailer expanding with pet-centric store

By , - Last modified: July 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM
Chaar's current location is on Airport Road in Allentown.
Chaar's current location is on Airport Road in Allentown.

An Allentown specialty retailer is expanding and honing its focus with a new store in Saucon Valley – with plans to add three to five or even more locations.

Chaar, which has a 20,000-square-foot store on Airport Road in East Allentown, specializes in pet supplies, equestrian products and apparel.

A.J. ElChaar, vice president of marketing, said the store is one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers of cowboy boots in the mid-Atlantic.

“But if you’re just looking to buy dog food … you want something more convenient,” he said.

Convenience is the goal of the new store, which will be branded Chaar Pet and located in a former Blockbuster Video store on Route 378. It will concentrate specifically on food, accessories and grooming for dogs, cats and small animals. ElChaar said it also may carry chicks, ducks and wild-bird supplies because those are popular items at the original location.

ElChaar said the goal of the family owned store is to offer an alternative to the large corporate pet stores that have been gradually acquiring and taking over the smaller, locally owned pet stores.

“I think we’ll be different not just because we’re locally owned, but because of the unique products we sell and in the way we do business and our customer service,” ElChaar said. “We will carry different things. We will do different things.”

ElChaar said the first location was chosen because that section of Saucon Valley is underserved in the pet store market.

The new store won’t be the last, he said. The goal is to open an additional three to five Chaar Pet stores in the Greater Lehigh Valley, with the East Allentown store serving as the flagship location.

If the local expansion goes as planned, the ultimate goal is to expand throughout the mid-Atlantic with similar flagship/satellite store models, and maybe someday be a national chain.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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