Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Petco announces it will close Drs. Foster and Smith, eliminating 289 jobsSubmitted: 01/09/2019
Rose McBride
Rose McBride
Reporter/Anchor
rmcbride@wjfw.com

Petco announces it will close Drs. Foster and Smith, eliminating 289 jobs
RHINELANDER - Nearly 300 people will lose their jobs when Drs. Foster and Smith closes in March. 

Wednesday Petco announced it will close the pet supply company in Rhinelander.


In August, Petco told us it planned to expand its call center and Live Aquaria operations. 

The Drs. Foster and Smith store will close to the public on February 12. Its 289 employees will begin to lose their jobs a month later.

None of the employees we spoke with wanted to go on camera, fearing they would face retribution from the company. 

Petco bought Drs. Foster and Smith in 2015. 

When the founders of the company, Race Foster and Marty Smith, sold to Petco, they did so because they wanted a buyer who would stay in Oneida County and keep jobs in Rhinelander.

In 2015, the Drs. Foster and Smith Internet Marketing Manager told us Petco seemed to be committed to Rhinelander into the future.

The company released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying, in part:

"Taking into account the needs of modern pet parents, shifting consumer preferences and the ongoing evolution of the Petco brand, we believe this will enable us to streamline operations and better focus on our core business and customer." 

Not only will the closure affect those 289 people and their families, it will also effect Oneida County.

The Oneida County Economic Development Corporation released a statement saying it will work with local and state agencies to try to create more opportunities for those who lost their jobs.

"This is a setback for the county. It's somewhat devastating news, but we're going to attack it head on and make the best we can of it and find new opportunities for these people. They're valued employees and valued citizens of Oneida County," said Oneida County Board Chairman Dave Hintz. 

Wisconsin Workforce Development is sending a rapid response team to the area to help with worker transition assistance programs. 

Fifty-nine employees will keep their jobs at Live Aquaria. 

Petco's full statement:

Petco today announced that we have made the difficult but necessary decision to close the Drs. Foster and Smith (DFS) business based in Rhinelander, Wis., on February 12, 2019. Taking into account the needs of modern pet parents, shifting consumer preferences and the ongoing evolution of the Petco brand, we believe this will enable us to streamline operations and better focus on our core business and customer. This change affects 289 employees, with their last days of employment varying over the next 60 to 120 days �" all have been notified and will be provided severance and transition support. This decision has not been an easy one, nor has it been made lightly, and we appreciate that it has a very real effect on both individuals and the broader community in Rhinelander. In an effort to help, we're committed to working with local officials to provide ample outplacement programming for those impacted starting in February. We greatly appreciate all of our partners for their dedicated service and contributions to Drs. Foster and Smith and to Petco.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MERRILL - Ed Kemery's Facebook group doubled in size over the last few weeks, sparking an interest in something he knows very little about.

"Almost no experience at all in theater," Kemery admitted.  "I kind of see myself as a catalyst [here.]"

Kemery grew up in Pennsylvania, but moved to Merrill two years ago to get closer to his wife's home town. Recently, the couple thought about what would draw in more people and settled on a dinner theater.

"I thought, well, why not Merrill"" Kemery said.

+ Read More

Play Video

TRIPOLI - A vehicle struck and killed a mother bear last Thursday evening on Hwy 8 outside of Tripoli. USDA Wildlife Services has been searching for her three orphaned cubs. They set up cub traps near the scene. After three days there have been no sightings. 

Wildlife Biologist David Ruid has been involved with the search and said rehab is the safest option for the cubs and people.

"In a lot of situations, if you don't capture and remove those cubs they're going to continue to hang out in that area and could be struck by a vehicle," said Ruid. "There's a potential for a vehicle accident. The best solution is to capture and rehab them for the year."

+ Read More

MADISON - Lawyers for Ashlee Martinson won't get a chance to argue their case before the state Supreme Court.

When Martinson was 17 years old in 2015, she killed her mother and stepfather at their home east of Rhinelander.

She's now serving 23 years in prison.

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal.

Her lawyers argued that, because of her history and mental state, she didn't think she had a choice whether to kill her parents.

+ Read More

PLOVER - A Plover woman died after she was hit in a parking lot over the weekend.

According to Plover police, Rose Ann Krueger was walking through the Copps Grocery Store parking lot on Plover Road around 8:15 p.m. Saturday when a 2010 Nissan Titan SUV hit her.

Krueger, 72, was taken to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau where she later died.

+ Read More

KENOSHA - Police in Kenosha are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy who was dropped off at a hospital after he was shot.

Police say the shooting happened before 2 p.m. Monday at a Kenosha residence. Authorities got a call from staff at Froedtert South Hospital-Kenosha Campus after two people dropped off the boy, then left.

+ Read More

OSHKOSH - The badger state crowned new royalty in Oshkosh this summer. Alyssa Bohm, formerly Miss Rock River Valley, won the Miss Wisconsin pageant Saturday. 

Along with the crown and title, Bohm earned a $10,000 scholarship and will represent Wisconsin at the 2020 Miss America Competition.

Bohm hopes to use her platform to enhance opportunities for individuals with special needs. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Strawberry farmers wait all year long for three weeks each summer when their crops will be ready to harvest. Bad weather across the Midwest this spring left those producers behind schedule.

Mike Matushak with Engelberry Farm in Merrill says the strawberry harvest in Southern Wisconsin usually come sooner than it does in the North. Producers a little further south in Waupaca already rang in their harvesting season with a strawberry festival Saturday.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: