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PET LOVERS, CRAFTY TYPES CAN NOW GET THEIR FIXES

The last two anchor stores in the Coastal Landing shopping center opened this week.

The wait is over for eager shoppers wanting to stock up for their latest craft project or outfit their furry best friend.

The last two major anchor stores in the Coastal Landing shopping center had their un- official openings this week, with more formal grand openings to come.

Michaels, the country's largest arts and crafts specialty retailer, opened to shoppers Wednesday with an official grand opening planned for Sunday.

The store joins more than 900 others across North America in providing shoppers with everything from knitting and crocheting supplies to floral arrangement materials to beading and jewelry-making items.

Just down the plaza on Wednesday, Petco was enjoying its third day open, and customers were lining up at the cash register with carts piled with dog food and cat toys.

The official grand opening is Aug. 10 to 12. During that event, Aug. 10 will be "Feline Friday,'' Aug. 11 will feature hamster races at 2 p.m. and Aug. 12 will be "Dog Day'' with a variety of contests, including one that will crown the owner who most looks like his or her dog, according to company spokeswoman Rachel McLennan.

The 15,400-square-foot store includes a grooming salon and a permanent adoption center that will feature animals up for adoption from local rescue groups.

"We want our customers to think adoption first,'' McLennan said.

Other newly opened stores in the plaza include Linens-N-Things, Old Navy and Marshalls. Nearby, Panera Bread recently opened its first Hernando store.

The plaza is on Cortez Boulevard just west of the Suncoast Parkway.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

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