Hot Retailer Alert: Natural Pawz
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Natural Pawz just opened its 16th Houston location, and it’s continuing its growth plans both locally and (for the first time) outside of Houston. Baker Katz’s Ben Brown is repping the company and tells us it hopes to open three to five stores a year, and prefers between 1,600 SF and 2k SF in grocery-anchored centers in high-end areas. It’s a family-owned company, so growth will be based on opportunities rather than shareholder demand, but Ben says they’ve been finding quite a few opportunities lately, especially in new construction. (Natural Pawz has a large handful of LOIs out for 2015 to 2017 openings.)
Here are Natural Pawz owners Nadine Joli-Coeur and Biff Picone. The married couple launched their brand almost by accident; their dog developed severe food allergies and they couldn’t find the all-natural food suggested by their vet. They started ordering food straight from manufacturers that didn’t supply Houston and selling the extras. Before they knew it, they were selling to 200 customers out of their home. Ten years ago, Nadine and Biff signed their first lease in The Woodlands; now they’ve got 16, and at the request of their clients, are evaluating expansion out of Houston. Back at home, Ben tells us Natural Pawz is eyeing more Inner Loop locations (especially around the Museum District/Midtown), and is targeting hot suburban areas including Clear Lake, Conroe and Atascocita.