THE pet superstore Pets at Home was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of Douglas in December.
Councillor David Ashford was joined by pupils from Anagh Coar School to perform the opening of the store which is located on the Spring Valley Industrial Estate.
Speaking on the day of opening store manager Nigel Thijs said the emphasis in the Douglas store would be on providing good customer service and pet care to the local community.
He said: "We're excited. The team has done really well. We've all worked very very hard to get to this stage.
"It's very much about customer service and pet care – educating people in how to look after the animals that they have, correctly, making sure that the animal is as happy as it can be and has a natural environment to live in. That makes the animal happy which makes the owner happy."
The new Pets at Home store features a Pet Adoption Centre, an aquatic centre with cold water and tropical fish and a reptile centre. There is also trained staff on site who can administer veterinary medicines for fleas and worms.
Nigel said he hoped that pet owners would be able to find the products they want and need in the shop.
He continued: "We cater for, hopefully, everyone with the range of stock we carry. Hopefully it will mean that people will be able to get what they want - all under one roof.
"We've got everything for cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, reptiles and fish through to chickens! It's somewhere for everyone to come and get everything that they need."
Pets are also welcome in the store. Nigel said: "Who can choose what treat they want better than the dog themselves? As long as they are well behaved and kept on a leash then we have no problem at all with people bringing their pets in."
Pets at Home has pledged to support local animal charities in the Isle of Man.
Nigel explained: "We haven't decided which charity we are going to choose yet as we are still waiting for more nominations. We can partner with more than one. If there are any local charities that would like sponsorship in any way then I would be delighted to hear from them."
He continued: "Obviously being part of the community is one of the key aims of the store. Yes it is a big company but we would like to think that we can keep that local persona.
"Everyone within the store is local – all the colleagues and the managers - it's not just a faceless corporation. We would like to be the local store - OK it's bigger and it has everything in it but we still want to be seen as a 'local' store."
This story is part of isleofman.com's Review of the Year 2011.