is pretty terrible. The staff are incredibly and consistently rude, and their tanks are ridiculously over-stocked. Pet stores generaly over-stock their tanks, as the tanks are meant to be temporary quarters. Which I get. But when one has twelve full-size African Cichlids in a 50 gallon tank, it's a sign to run away.
In contrast, the chain pet stores here aren't terribly over-stocked (minus feeder fish), the staff are friendly and pretty knowledgeable about what they sell, and the tanks are very clean. Yeah, they definitely try to sell you stuff, but it's tends to be healthier alternatives (Fish food appropriate for the breed you're buying versus the generic jar-o'-food, more accurate testing kits versus those crappy strips, larger tanks, etc). They make a bigger sale, you get better stuff, everybody wins.
They do a decent job (The fact that we have a large university with reputable biology and pre-vet programs helps), so I shop there instead of the LFS
. I absolutely shop at local businesses as opposed to large chains for as much as possible, even if it means paying a little more. When it comes to pets, though, I only adopt or buy from people who take good care of them.
Businesses are always hit or miss. There are great LFS
's, and there are great branches of chain stores. Just ask around, stop by prior to making a purchase to check them out, and of course do research on what you intend to buy. If you aren't comfortable with the store, shop somewhere else. Easy as that.