The nation's largest retailer of pet products and services, PetSmart, is preparing to open a store this year in Somers Point Plaza on New Road, several doors down from the Kmart department store there.

"The fact that nationally known PetSmart and the other great stores and eateries have chosen to make Somers Point their home and/or expanded here signifies that our downtown is a draw for shoppers and a prime location to do business," Michael Bray, president of the Somers Point Economic Development Commission, said in a statement.

PetSmart employs approximately 52,000 associates and operates 1,289 stores and more than 196 in-store PetSmart PetsHotels dog and cat boarding facilities in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

The stores, and their online retail counterpart, are stocked with more than 10,000 products.

Business editor Kevin Post