Following weeks of speculation due to its dwindling inventory, Pet Depot in Auburn is officially closing.
Store co-manager Felicia Cole said staff was told the news Tuesday morning by owner Jay Olsian. He hopes to close the Auburn Plaza store by Thanksgiving, she said.
The closing date could change depending on how quickly the store unloads its inventory, Cole said. To that end, inventory is 50 percent off and animals are 40 percent off, effective immediately.
The store is already about half empty, she said, and employees have moved all remaining merchandise to the front of the store.
"The idea is that the store isn't officially closing until it's empty," she said.
Staff will find homes for any animals unsold when the store closes, Cole said. It currently has no dogs, nor will any more come in. Remaining are a rabbit, a couple guinea pigs, four hamsters and some gerbils and birds.
Pet Depot opened in Auburn Plaza in late 2003. It employs 10 people, Cole said, five of whom are full-time. She said transfers within the central New York chain won't be an option, as Pet Depots in Vestal, Rome and Oswego have also closed recently. Auburn is the only location still open, she said.
Olsian gave the staff no indication as to why the closure was happening, Cole said.
"It's been a good company for the 11 years it's been open," she said. "Unfortunately, things just change."