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PetSmart comes to Willmar

Shelby Lindrud / Tribune The retail space that once housed Best Buy on South First Street in Willmar will soon be the home of PetSmart. Demolition work has already begun inside the space.

WILLMAR — The cats, dogs, birds and fish of Willmar and the surrounding area will soon have a store just for them. National retailer PetSmart is planning to open a location in Willmar, filling the old Best Buy location on South First Street.

Best Buy closed in October 2016, after 10 years in Willmar.

Demolition work has already begun in the interior of the 20,000-square-foot space. The building permit filed with the city of Willmar said both interior and exterior work will be done on the building. The project value is estimated at $874,956 on the building permit.

Randy Kardell, Willmar building official, said the store is planning on opening by mid-summer.

According to the company website, PetSmart is the largest specialty pet retailer, with approximately 1,600 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico as well as employing around 55,000 associates. The company has opened 63 new locations so far in the 2017 fiscal year. This includes Minnesota stores in Baxter, Elk River and Forest Lake.