New Lee Highway Pet Store to Hold Grand Opening

by ARLnow.com May 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm 8,937 24 Comments

Unleashed (5400 Lee Highway) opened for business last week and now its planning a grand opening celebration this weekend.

The store is part of the ‘Unleashed’ boutique pet store chain run by giant pet retailer Petco. It replaced a Blockbuster video store that closed in January.

On Saturday and Sunday the store will hold a grand opening sale with 50 percent off a number of products, including certain natural dog and cat foods. Employees are also handing out $5.00 off coupons to those who stop by the store this week.

  • yequalsy

    Well…at least it’s not another mattress store or bank.

    • TGEoA

      Mroooooow (+1)

  • CW


    1) What a terrible name for a pet store (see vehemence in previous leash-related posts).

    2) Arlingtonians love their precious little trash-eating bundles of joy and will spend tons of their hard-earned money on them, but…

    3)…it’s a CHAIN! OH MY GOD!! RUN!!!!!

    • dynaroo

      The AWLA should cite Unleashed for being unleashed.

  • y8s

    Sadly Unleashed does not carry the particular brand of grain-free food that my liberal elitist cats love.

    However the family-owned place kitty corner (pardon the incredibly apt pun) from there does.

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    I have no grudge against most chains, however I just think that it’s a bit rude to open this store directly across the street from not 1 but 2 locally owned pet stores.

    I hope that their loyal customers don’t abandon them for the shiny new.

    • TGEoA

      I’m ditching Old Dominion for Unleashed. Unleashed is cheaper and has better parking.

      • dynaroo

        Arlington is the kind of place with bakeries for dogs.

    • John Fontain

      Opening a competing business is “rude”? Really?

  • SoCo Resident

    “giant pet retailer Petco” opens just across the street from Dominion Pet, Dogma, and the bird place. How Walmartesque of Petco!

    • Allan

      Right there with you. Bye Bye Dominion and Dogma. It was nice having you around; lent a little bit of uniqueness to the area. Petco, not so much. Went in; and it looks just like other PetCo’s, PetsMarts – just new.

  • Jen M

    !I am welcoming Unleashed to the neighborhood with open arms. As much as I love and support the locally owned pet stores- I’m not in it for the special treats and $15 dog toys.

    Our dog has special needs, as in epilepsy and other health issues, and with chains we can save a little money that we can put towards his medical expenses. Out with the special peanut butter birthday cookie treat and in with the parking and coupons please.

    • Allan

      Well then you have a big fat surprise on your hands. Very few of their items are signficantly cheaper – only in quality. The decent food, and decent products are just about the same price if not more in some cases.

      Yes, I did my homework.

      But, the parking is definitely a lot better.

      • John Fontain

        Allan said: “Bye Bye Dominion and Dogma. It was nice having you around”

        Then Allan said: “Very few of their items are signficantly cheaper – only in quality.”

        If, as you claim, Petco’s offerings are cheaper in quality but not in price, how will they put the locals out of business? Seems like one of your claims isn’t true.

        • Allan

          As others have mentioned already, they don’t carry the really quality foods; just a few, and the pricing on that food is right about the same price as some of our local businesses including PetMac.

          It’s easy to see how they could very easily put the other two stores out of business. One, parking. Two, bigger selection due to size of store – a one-stop shop. Three, the masses are less concerned about quality than they are about price. So, price sensitivity will drive them to PetCo as it is perceived as much cheaper – as Jen M. believes.

          Lastly, they have the power of mass marketing and brand messaging that the local business does not – so reaching new customers will be easier.

          Since the end-user of these products have a short life span, and are not always replaced in every family – pet stores need to constantly reach new customers to replace those that have passed on.

          So, it may not be this year, but it’s a very good bet that the two local companies across the street will not survive in their current locations.

  • JimA

    Customers of existing shops will tell the story – do the small shops add value worth keeping the existing store/customer relationship? If so, all the little shops in Harrison Center will do fine, otherwise, watch out!

  • AVer

    I am not sure Unleashed will steal that many customers away. They don’t carry many of the premium brands carried by pet boutiques such as Wylie Wagg (my fav!). And Unleashed appears to consider Science Diet to be a premium dog food, which it is not.

    • dynaroo

      Wylie Wagg is your favorite? How’s it taste?

      • AllenB

        It’s delicious.

        But I do buy almost everything for my dog at Wylie Wagg. I’ve checked their prices and they’re all within a buck or two of other places and they’re staff is great – very helpful and knowledgeable.

        Okay, I’m done with my shameless plug for Wylie Wagg.

  • Fitz

    It is so rude to run out small businesses. I will never shop at Unleashed even if they do start carrying products worthy of my purchase. A New York Style deli would have been just awesome. Oh well.

  • TruJack

    It is a shame that Petco chose to open across the street from Dogma. While it’s true that there will be some overlap in items and those items are likely to be cheaper at Petco, what you’re unlikely to find at Pecto’s Unleashed are employees and owners who truly care about the customers and the local community. I think Dogma’s loyal customers know that and will continue to support them. And Dogma also sells gift items and other things that you won’t find at Petco (Unleashed or otherwise)that attract people. The parking does suck – but a lot of people go there to shop at Harris Teeter – and then it’s one stop shopping without having to cross Harrison Street

    • Dogma Bakery


      Thank you very much for your kind comments. We are very concerned about the short term impact from Unleashed – in fact, since they opened, we have seen a significant drop so far this month vs. last year’s transactions and sales.

      That being said, Unleashed by Petco has already sent several customers to our store, and we have referred several local rescue groups to them for future large adoption events.

      The management at Unleashed has also asked us to participate in several of their upcoming events with them and has asked us to provide our dog cakes for their local stores.

      So, as scary as it is for our future, we look forward to working with Unleashed to promote dog and cat adoptions and to continue to support the local community. Maybe it will all work out in the end because they have a lot more money to draw in people; perhaps we’ll all benefit from the good work they plan to do.

      But, please feel free to continue to come in to our store! We really appreciate our customers and it’s been a great 11 years and we hope for many more!

  • Suburban Not Urban

    So a what point will County staff propose putting a 6 story building with 1st floor retail on the site while eliminating the parking, and narrowing Harrison St to create a more walkable environment?

    • Dan

      Except that I suspect that staff would say that site could support a nine story building……


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