Chain Country-Style Feed Stores are Coming to American Suburbs

A new brand of chain country-style feed stores are developed for American suburbs.

| September/October 2006

A new brand of chain country-style feed stores is coming to America’s suburbs. 

A new brand of feed store is coming to America’s suburbs — chain country-style feed stores with careful market research to back up their myriad products for the "ruralpolitan” lifestyle. Purina Mills, the largest feed dealer in the United States, owns the trademark to the name America’s Country Store, a series of franchise stores that sell Purina feed and country living paraphernalia.

Purina started the franchise in 1997 with hopes of 200 stores by 2001. In the summer of 2006, there were just 40 stores nationwide. Purina spokesperson Dick Fisher says the slower growth is attributed largely to the independent nature of feed-store owners.

America’s Country Store franchises are required to look the same, just as a Subway sandwich franchise always looks the same. Feed-store owners often wanted to do their own thing, Fisher says, so Purina came up with other ways to help those feed stores find ways to sell more. In many of those places, he says Purina is now selling a lot of its specialty feeds – alpaca diets and bags of feed for emus, for instance.

How Now . . . Animal Chow

Back in the old days, most of Purina’s exotic foods really were exotic — for the most part, they were only sold to zoos.

Now, chances are, you can find or order a diet made for monkeys or hedgehogs at your local feed store.

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