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VOL. 133 | NO. 50 | Friday, March 9, 2018

Memphis Pedigree

Hollywood Feed may open up to 25 stores this year

Melinda Lejman, Special to The Daily News

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Hollywood Feed’s newest Memphis store is officially open for business at the corner of Collins Street and Sam Cooper Boulevard. This 5,000-square-foot built-to-suit space replaces their flagship store on Broad Avenue, which currently houses the pet specialty retail chain’s corporate offices and distribution warehouse.

With 66 stores operating throughout the South, Hollywood Feed’s national expansion won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

“We’re staying busy,” says Shawn McGhee, president of Hollywood Feed. “We hope to open between 20 to 25 (stores) this year.”

This expansion includes additional stores in Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and a first in North Carolina.

“We’re really trying to be the Whole Foods of the pet food business,” McGhee said. “When you look at natural and holistic alternatives, we’re the specialists for that.”

He points to the 80+ hours of classroom education that new employees receive as a vital component of the company’s success.

“What we offer over anyone else is a level of education and training that our employees have. We’re really known for the experience,” McGhee adds. “Being able to recommend the appropriate product is huge, because then you’re taking care of the customer and you’re taking care of the customer’s pet, and that’s really big for us.”

The Collins Street store was the first to be designed from the ground up, and includes large roll-up garage doors and a wide front porch.

In coordination with the landlord, the company had a lot of input on the store’s design, says Brittany Gilliam, Hollywood Feed’s COO.

“We really customized it to what we wanted a Hollywood Feed to look like,” she said.

The roll-up doors and wide apron will create a flow for customer traffic during adoption events, a cause the chain remains committed to throughout its expansion.

“We work very diligently to try and find homes for homeless pets,” McGhee said. “Unfortunately, Memphis produces more homeless pets than can be adopted, and so we’re always working with area rescue groups and the area shelters to try and find homes for those pets.”

The company is also committed to maintaining a presence in the Binghampton community.

“We love the area,” Gilliam said. “Hollywood Feed has been on Broad for as long as most people can remember, and it wouldn’t be right to not have a location over here.”

Hollywood Feed was originally founded on the corner of Hollywood and Chelsea, which is where it gets its name, according to McGhee.

“It’s been in the four-block radius (of the Broad Avenue location) for about 60 years now,” he said. “I don’t know of another continuously running business that has been in this area for this long.”

The pet product chain worked closely with the Touliatos family, owners of the Collins Street real estate, to create the new and innovative design.

“We were able to acquire the real estate that their nursery used to sit on,” McGhee said. “It’s very exciting to continue to be in this neighborhood with the new store. We’re guaranteed to be in this neighborhood for a very long time.”

In addition to investing heavily in employee education and training, Gilliam believes the company’s commitment to promoting from within is made possible through continued growth. Gilliam started her career with Hollywood Feed as a sales associate eight years ago and credits the company with investing in employees who want to rise through the ranks.

“I’ve been able to get my hands in everything,” Gilliam said. “I think that says a lot about our company culture.”

The retail chain’s next big project includes moving the corporate offices and warehouse from the Broad Avenue space, which is owned by Loeb Properties Inc., to an 180,000-square-foot facility off Warford Street.

The warehouse will be the distribution center for every Hollywood Feed in the country and will continue to supply each store using the company’s fleet of CDL drivers. Currently, the company plans to move into the new, larger space sometime in April.

With 13 retail stores operating in the greater Memphis area, there are no plans to add additional stores in the near future.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 128 339 21,916
MORTGAGES 76 240 16,657
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 14 31 1,535
BUILDING PERMITS 0 641 43,132
BANKRUPTCIES 36 136 6,853
BUSINESS LICENSES 4 27 3,196
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0