Letter: Double K Specialty, Inc. closing with heavy heart
Published 7:28 am Thursday, September 12, 2019
By Kyle and Kerri Klaehn
Double K Specialty, Inc.
Double K Specialty, Inc. is officially announcing the closure of our primary pet store. After 28 plus years in Austin, the Klaehns have determined that the feasibility of maintaining their business as is, here in the community is no longer an option. This has been a very difficult decision to make. Over the 28 years in Austin we have been fortunate enough to maintain a very solid following by thousands of customers. Also over the 28 plus years we have been blessed with many outstanding staff members. There is no means of thanking everyone enough for all the support and loyalty through good and tough times. We are hopeful to get continued support as we sell out our inventory at discounted prices. The discount on products have already begun, so please stop in and check things out. We will be changing our store hours to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday, until all product and fixtures are gone. All pet grooming appointments will stay in place for September and October. Stay tuned for your opportunity to continue with your favorite pet groomer beyond our store closing.
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We have had several hundred people comment to us in the store about other pet stores coming into Austin. It is true, based on our own calculations the market is not big enough to potentially support even two pet stores. After our closure, there will be seven locations within a six block vicinity where pet products can be purchased. Double K’s strength over the years has always come from being diversified in product offerings. The retail world is tougher now than ever before in our opinion. After the recession that began in late 2008, the online shopping began to really take off. Many consumers buying habits have changed to the point of closing down thousands of brick and mortar stores throughout the U.S. Austin has not escaped this, just like many other communities.
There is no one single thing that has driven us to close Double K, it is a multitude of things. We give the city of Austin a little credit for attempting to improve Austin’s retail environment. It was just disturbing to find out how the latest big retail project did not come with full disclosure from the developer, as they were given a huge discount on the structure. This is not about controlling who can come to Austin. It is about proper due diligence and full disclosure by all parties. In the end for us, it just solidifies the type of new business owner in Austin that is already declaring a new “hometown” store of Austin.
For the city of Austin, results are “In with the new and out with the old.” It just appears to us and other businesses in Austin I have talked to, that there is not enough discovery and/or due diligence performed by the city at times. It is easy to be critical of others, but in this case I offer an example. Recently, as a business owner in the community, I was requested by the city to provide some input as a customer to their services. I was asked to provide feedback through a phone interview. I was glad to do it, but did not follow through once I learned that a reward for doing it would garner me a free Amazon gift card. Now, had they offered a discount off of my bill or even given out Chamber Bucks as a thank you, I would have followed through with their request for information. Sending business out of town when not necessary should not be an option!
Change is inevitable, and not always for the better. Change can be good for some and not for others. Some people will not notice the exit of Double K, while others will be saddened. Nothing lasts forever and we are no different. We are thankful for our chance and ability to provide goods and services to the Austin and surrounding area for over 28 years. As business owners, we are now “out with the old and looking towards what will be new!!” We look forward to visiting with our customers during their final purchases from us.