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Paw in Hand pet boutique closing its doors on Aug. 1

By RON NEWBERRY
Whidbey News-Times Staff Reporter
July 16, 2014 · Updated 3:51 PM
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Of all the signs that pointed to a change for his business, Chris Reissner said the most glaring one involved simple math.

“You can only see a negative number so many times,” Reissner said.

Reissner announced over the weekend that he is closing his pet boutique store on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor Aug. 1, but he is not shutting down his business.

A Paw in Hand, which opened 14 months ago, will transition to an online format in September until a new brick-and-mortar store location can be found, Reissner said.

Several factors played a role in his decision, from an “oversaturation market” for the pet industry in Oak Harbor, to store location and family priorities, he said.

A mentor for flight attendants at a major airline, Reissner wasn’t able to be at his store as much as he would have liked.

His mother worked in his absence as the store wasn’t generating enough business to hire more help.

“The store should have, by now, started to show a return on investment,” Reissner said.

“It hasn’t shown it yet.”

Petco’s plans to open soon in Oak Harbor also impacted his decision, even though A Paw in Hand offers more unique items for customers who like to pamper their pets.

One of Reissner’s biggest disappointments, he said, was the lack of customers patronizing businesses like his on Pioneer Way.

He said he was also concerned about the city’s future expansion plans centered on Bayshore Drive closer to the water.

Reissner said he hopes to have items for sale at his website  through a shopping cart feature by Sept. 1 and won’t be having a clearance sale at the store.

He will begin to hunt for a new store site but doesn’t see Oak Harbor in his plans.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I really enjoyed being at the store and having people coming in and getting to know their pets. I don’t know what else I could have done differently.”


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