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Online Pet Supply Retailer Chewy.Com Snags $90 Million Credit Line

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A line of credit extended to pet supply retailer Chewy.com has been expanded to five years and $90 million, Wells Fargo Capital Finance reported in a news release on Wednesday.

Trisha Schultz, a spokeswoman for the lending services company, said she was not at liberty to share the amount of the original line of credit or when it was established.

Chewy.com, headquartered at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, was founded in 2011 by Ryan Cohen and Michael Day, millennials who believed they could come up with a better way for pet owners to purchase staples for their four-legged family members.

Today, the company says it has become the nation’s top online pet products retailer and one of the fastest-growing private e-commerce companies, with more than $900 million in sales in 2016.

Cohen was unavailable for an interview Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman at Chewy.com.

Jim Grube, chief financial officer at Chewy, was quoted in the Wells Fargo release as saying the expanded credit will help the company “become the largest pet retailer in the world.”

According to a Jan. 24 profile in the financial magazine Forbes, the company controls 43 percent of online sales of pet food and litter, just behind Amazon’s 48 percent. 

At the company’s Dania Beach headquarters, 416 employees answer phones and texts in round-the-clock shifts, while orders are shipped from fulfillment centers in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Nevada, each the size of 10 football fields, the story said, adding three more fulfillment centers are planned by early 2018, the Forbes story said.

The story also said the company, which has attracted $236 million in venture capital, has yet to turn a profit.

Chewy.com spokeswoman Roxsanne Tai said by email Wednesday that 2,500 of the company’s total 3,700 employees have been hired since November 2015, when a Sun Sentinel profile said it employed 1,200.

The site carries more than 30,000 products, Tai said, including such premium pet food brands as Royal Canin, Nutro, Blue Wilderness and Merrick.

The site offers $4.95 flat rate shipping for orders under $49 and free shipping for orders over $49.