Citing an inability to compete with lower prices offered by online suppliers, Village Pet Supply owners Greg Gamier and Jeff Lowe said they will be closing their business.

The men started the business 15 year ago. They said the store's last day will be June 30.

The couple said they will be winding down the supply of pet food, toys and related items while selling everything else in the store -- including shelves, furniture and other merchandise -- until the closing day.

Both Gamier and Lowe said they will bid a sorrowful "adieu" to the neighborhood, which has been largely supportive since the store's beginnings at Whittier and Bruck streets, and the last nine years at 740 S. High St.

"We've got some really loyal customers who feel really bad about it," Lowe said.

The couple also is in the midst of a rebranding effort: The new name of their company will be Greg & Jeff Pet Care, a dog-walking and pet-sitting business they started nine years ago and will continue to run out of their Merion Village house.

The Village Pet Supply 1,800-square-foot storefront is part of a dying breed of independent retailers who struggle with maintaining a customer base that prefers the convenience of online ordering from services such as Amazon and specialty providers, such as chewy.com and BarkBox.com, the owners said.

Savings for customers using those services can be as much as 10 percent and higher.

"We've noticed sales have dropped," Lowe said.

"The worst part of it is the big brands we used to specialize in, you can get them at Kroger," Gamier said.

They looked into renting a warehouse and starting an online service but decided against it.

Meanwhile, they were facing renewing their three-year lease, which has increased in cost at least 10 percent each time.

"It doesn't make economic sense to sign another lease," said Lowe, who added the store temporarily will be closed from April 13-17.

German Village Pet Supply has the folksy neighborhood feel of a different era, with Gamier and Lowe often bringing their cat, Emma, or dog, Petey, to work with them.

A few computer keystrokes can bring anything from food to the latest in designer jeans to consumers' front doors, taking a considerable toll on retail stores, even in pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods such as the Brewery District, they said.

"It's getting worse now," said Gamier, a member of the German Village Society Board of Trustees and German Village Business Community.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary