As the sun sets in Lansing’s Old Town, the letter “P” on the wall of Preuss Pets alternates from blue to orange to green.
Below the letter, and spanning the wall of the building, is a mural showing animal habitats, flanked by a waterfall. It’s a unique storefront — one that customers say is matched by the unique experience inside.
“Kind of what makes our store special or significant or of value is that we take seriously the idea that having a pet and having successful relationship with that pet is really important,” Owner Rick Preuss said. “So when you employ that from our side for over 30 years, the store becomes a different entity than if we were just trying to set up a store to make money.”
Preuss Pets has 65 employees dispersed around the 24,000- square-foot store. The open space is filled with sounds of birds chirping and the flow of a stream filled with koi flowing through the space.
“We have to teach our employees to be empathetic with our customers, to engage and be helpful. That doesn’t happen overnight, that happens over time, that becomes an institution rather than here’s a manual,” Preuss said. “By establishing those relationships, the customers are more prone to take the advice the employees have to offer.”Preuss Pets Infographics by Kathleen Maria McGee