News that Pets at Home could be moving into a former Waitrose building on Dorking High Street in Surrey has caused uproar among residents in the town.
Dorking has two pet shops already and locals say the space should be given to a retailer who could offer something new to the town.
A Pets at Home store is set to open in the town next month, and while the company has yet to confirm where in the town it will set up shop, the postcode given on a job advert for a new assistant manager matches that of the former High Street supermarket space which was vacated when Waitrose moved last year.
Resident and former publican Roger Jones, who has been campaigning to bring more retailers to the town, told the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser: "The arrival of another pet store does nothing to fill the void that sends shoppers by their droves to other towns while residents continue to be denied access to the shops and services they need.
"For Dorking to become a viable shopping destination we need to give shoppers incentive to shop here – I hardly believe cut-price Pedigree Chum is that incentive.
"The council must work with Dorking's landlords to help facilitate larger retail spaces so that a better retail offering can be accommodated in Dorking."
He added: "Whilst there will always be that person that says 'better than having empty units' I would hope that Pets At Home reconsider their position."
Others also questioned the need for another major pet store.
Amanda Hammond wrote on the Advertiser's Facebook page: “It won't do much for independent retailers like Muddy Paws opposite. It seems overkill with Pets Corner also in town."
Aimee Fairhurst added: "Like we need more pet shops."