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Zajac has observed customers asking more and more involved questions about their pets. The store has become a tourist attraction, with visitors interacting with it like a zoo. Zajac spent 800,000 euros on large kennels with heated floors and outdoor sections. It's not the identification you would expect from the owner of the biggest pet shop in the world, but bigness was, for Zajac, an adaptation. Pet Express provides the happiest, healthiest puppies to Boston, MA. Live animals are expensive to maintain in a pet shop, and demand is relatively small. He learned shortly after buying his first shop in 1975 that people would come to see strange creatures even if they didn’t want to buy them. By the time he was 8, Zajac had bred more than 100 golden hamsters in the basement of his family's little home. Here is our list of rankings for the Top 20 Most Visited Online Pet Stores Websites. “Eighty kilometers.” He continued down the row of tiny European vehicles, estimating the distance of their journey to his store. It was easy advice to give in the 1970s to a young man from the Ruhr Valley, the heart of the West German steel industry and the most populated part of the country. He’ll warn you not to pet the ferrets: Last year he called five ambulances for ferret bites alone. Welcome to Bird Paradise! A walk around the place is essentially an endurance sport, which is why Zajac, a heavy man with two bad knees, zips up and down the aisles on a black moped. Our management team has been in pet retail just since the mid 1980’s with experience locally as well as nationally. Germans keep more small mammals — everything from chinchillas to ferrets to rabbits — per capita than all other Europeans, save the Dutch, and the country also has large populations of pet reptiles and fish. Our Pet World features locally raised puppies, birds and rescue kittens. Independent pet shops were beginning to come under pressure, but Zajac found new opportunities. Today, Zoo Zajac is still the only pet store in Germany where you can buy a dog. The industry has seen significant gains, with a rise in spending on pet care and supplies to the tune of $25 billion in 2017 — an increase of 27% from the year before. Zajac always sold dog food and supplies, but like all German pet shop owners, he'd stopped selling dogs themselves in the 1970s. When Zajac is watching TV or relaxing in his hot tub, he’s never more than a flight of stairs away from his animal collection, just like when he bred hamsters in his basement as a little boy. In 2012, Zajac added a controversial mammal to his inventory. He became Germany’s youngest licensed parrot breeder in 1967, when he was 13, and quickly cornered the local market on parakeets by training them to breed at Christmastime. "Eighty kilometers." Millennials are now the biggest segment of the population of pet owners, and they are apparently willing to pay more for premium food, care services, and other pet products. “Small animals make less mess,” Zajac says, “and they do not bother the neighbors.” (A majority of Germans live in apartment buildings, while most western Europeans live in single-family homes.) Did you know that… 10. It houses about 250,000 individual animals of 3,000 different species. In Germany, the pet-care chain Fressnapf operates more than 800 locations and claims nearly a third of all sales, according to the research firm Euromonitor International. Zoo Zajac was, at the time, two-thirds of its present size, still large enough to earn it the distinction of the biggest pet shop in the world. During a tour, Zajac might also feed fresh eggs from his chickens to a monitor lizard, or take you through the reptile tanks, which are stacked three high in long rows, like televisions in the window of an old electronics store. Much of that growth, though, has accrued to big-box retailers rather than small pet shops. He built a warehouse in the lot behind the shop in 1993, the same year he started organizing huge exhibitions of tropical fish in convention halls in Duisburg. New England's community pet store. PetSmart is the world?s largest pet supply and service retailer, offering over 10,000 products in each store to meet all of your pet?s needs.. more +1(617)-349-3481. "One week after Easter, the plants would be dead and the goldfish would be dead, too. “Before, if somebody had a pond in their backyard, they would buy a bunch of goldfish at Easter and plant a bunch of flowers around the pond,” he says. Zajac says he received multiple bomb and death threats. Many of the most successful pet businesses have stopped selling animals or scaled back to just a few low-maintenance species, even though their customers are crazier than ever about their little friends. He bought the building in 1982, eventually taking over his other neighbor, too. When he was in fifth grade, schools began taking field trips to his house. Highlights include Zajac feeding grasshoppers to a family of little monkeys, who bite off the heads and gobble up the bodies two-handed, like a hoagie; a call-and-response duet between peacocks and the horn on Zajac’s moped; and Zajac’s T-shirt. Residents of North Rhine–Westphalia, the state that contains Duisburg, spend more on their pets than any other Germans. Zoo Zajac had started selling puppies. There is little doubt that our store is a very large bird store, probably the largest in the world. And then there’s the Internet. “Wuppertal,” he said. It was easy advice to give in the 1970s to a young man from the Ruhr Valley, the heart of the West German steel industry and the most populated part of the country. After he’s led you through the exotic mammals, the terrarium, the garden, the aquarium, the puppies, the birds, and the small mammals, he might take you to the parking lot for one of his favorite shows of all. (The catalog today lists more than 600 pages of animal products.) “It’s like family planning,” he says. Germany, however, has some of the lowest rates of dog and cat ownership in all of Europe. He diversified, adding guinea pigs, salamanders, tortoises, and a crocodile. In Germany, the pet-care chain Fressnapf operates more than 800 locations and claims nearly a third of all sales. He took over the family garden and started raising birds. Highlights include Zajac feeding grasshoppers to a family of little monkeys, who bite off the heads and gobble up the bodies two-handed, like a hoagie, and a call-and-response duet between peacocks and the horn on Zajac's moped. Today, Zajac's pet shop fills a 130,000-​square-​foot warehouse in an industrial part of Duisburg. In the U.S. the humanization trend has ridden largely on the backs of dogs and cats, whose owners spend the most money on their pets but are the least likely to buy their animals in pet shops. He took good care of her and bought a second hamster one year later. At 18, he sold most of his pets after he was conscripted into the military. The 2019-2020 National Pet Owners survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association revealed that 67% of all US households (84.9 million) have at least one pet. "Cologne," he said. Zajac used to laugh about customers who spoiled their pets like children, but by 2000 their behavior was the norm. Germans keep more small mammals—everything from chinchillas to ferrets to rabbits—per capita than all other Europeans, save the Dutch, and the country also has large populations of reptiles and fish. The largest of the big pet food corporations is Mars Pet, Inc. Mars own household dog food names most of which are very familiar to pet owners in the U.S. and are some of … Come visit us here in Lancaster PA, we’re the largest pet store you’ve ever seen! The largest of the big pet food corporations is Mars Pet, Inc. On a recent Saturday morning, Zajac rested his hand on the trunk of a customer's car and leaned over to examine the license plate. Zajac always understood his countrymen’s attraction to unusual animals, and he never thought of his pet shop as a simple site of exchange. The stingrays are in a touch tank - meaning that any creature in it may be touched. Zajac was responding to a changing market. It’s more than twice the size of the White House and three times as large as a Whole Foods Market. The first three deaths came after he was stung by a lionfish at Zoo Zajac, and the fourth happened during knee replacement surgery. A visitor can spend as much as 9,000 euros ($10,000) on a two-toed sloth or as little as 1.19 euros ($1.34) on a box of crickets. He started a mail-order business in 1987, which grew in the 1990s to make up as much as 70 percent of Zoo Zajac’s total sales. “Zoo Zajac’s consumer experience is its advantage,” says Antje Schreiber, a spokeswoman for the German Pet Trade & Industry Association. Specifically rankings are based on the number of estimated unique visitors received . “We’re actually fighting to survive.”. He took over the family garden and started raising birds. PetSmart was the largest pet specialty retail chain in North America as of February 2020 in terms of number of stores, with a total of 1,660 stores. His parents, a highway cop and a housewife in Gladbeck, Germany, said he could keep as many pets as he wanted, as long as he paid for them himself. He diversified, adding guinea pigs, salamanders, tortoises, and a crocodile. Zajac feeds the sloths carrots and cucumbers. Norbert Zajac got his first pet, a golden hamster, when he was 4 years old. From Business: Midas is one of the world's largest providers of auto repair services, including brakes, oil change, tires, maintenance, steering, and exhaust services. Banaszak doesn't think the world's biggest pet shop needs penguins, or any other new animals. "A pet store mostly subsists off of accessories and merchandise associated with the animal," Zajac says. Pet Stores in Burlington on YP.com. ... Burlington, MA 01803. Germany still has more than 5,000 independent pet shops, but their market share has dwindled to less than 15 percent. These animals suit Germans’ famously fastidious lifestyles. (His estimate: €25,000.) Norbert Zajac got his first pet, a golden hamster, when he was 4 years old. China may surpass the United States as the world's largest pet market. Other challenges are mounting. “I am the little one with the slingshot.” It’s not the identification you would expect from the owner of the biggest pet shop in the world, but bigness was, for Zajac, an adaptation. The "humanization" trend has benefited more than just animals. A visitor can spend as much as €9,000 ($10,000) on a two-toed sloth or as little as €1.19 on a box of crickets. Instead, there's an abundance of so-called exotic pets. One of the curiosities about Zoo Zajac is that it grew big without growing modern. Most German businesses are modest enterprises, and consumers there aren't impressed by immensity in and of itself. Norbert Zajac’s massive shop attracts about 1 million visitors each year. On a recent Saturday morning, Zajac rested his hand on the trunk of a customer’s car and leaned over to examine the license plate. She can buy armadillos, meerkats, coatis, and monkeys; or fill aquariums with jellyfish, tetras, shellfish, and piranhas. Netsirk: Great location for pets hanging out by the park or if you work in the area and need to treat yo furry friend! Zajac was disappointed to find only a couple of international visitors, from the Netherlands; often he finds plates from hundreds of miles away, in France, Poland, and the U.K. Germany isn’t the country where most people would expect to find the world’s biggest pet shop. We are the original Aquatic & Pet Supply Superstore. “If you don’t look like a zoo today, your physical retail will have problems in the future.”. Zajac's personal tour of Zoo Zajac can last as long as five hours and never takes less than two. “I think I am the only man who can fit two whole elephants on his shirt,” he said recently, while looking through his wardrobe. "He always has extreme ideas," she says, with loving exasperation. Zajac was disappointed to find only a couple of international visitors, from the Netherlands; often he finds plates from hundreds of miles away, from France, Poland, and the U.K. Germany isn't the country where most people would expect to find the world's biggest pet shop. In 2011, for instance, a group of British and Australian researchers counted 98 reptile shows in the European Union, 41 of which were in Germany. And other pet shop owners have proved reluctant to follow his lead. He took good care of her and bought a second hamster one year later. He survived not through specialization, but through spectacle—by building a pet shop so large that it has gravitational pull. “It’s almost used as a gratis zoo by the people,” says Ulrich Schürer, the former director of the nearby Zoo Wuppertal. He was told to become a steelworker. The first three deaths came after he was stung by lionfish at Zoo Zajac, and the fourth happened during knee replacement surgery. Excerpted from an article that originally appeared in Bloomberg.com. Zajac might also feed fresh eggs from his chickens to a monitor lizard, or tell you to look up when you pass underneath the sloths, who hang from ropes on the ceiling. He’s entrusted 49 percent of the company to his eldest daughter, Katja Banaszak, who will run it when he’s no longer able. In the U.S., PetSmart and Petco Animal Supplies capture more than half of industry revenue. Two years later he was working again at the steel mill when he saw an advertisement in the local paper. "I am the little one with the slingshot." ), Zoo Zajac's growth was fueled by Germany's development into the European country with the most money and the lowest birth-rate, the two factors that lead consumers to lavish money on their pets. Zajac used to laugh about customers who spoiled their pets like children, but by 2000 their behavior was the norm. A few months later, Guinness World Records paid a visit. By the time he was 8, Zajac had bred more than 100 golden hamsters in the basement of his family’s little home. While many independent shops disappeared or turned to high-end services like grooming or day care, Zajac took the opposite tack. “There was always something new to look at,” he says, “and since customers were already there, they would just buy anything else they needed.” He took this revelation as a license to indulge his wildest pet fantasies. In the U.S., PetSmart and Petco Animal Supplies capture more than half of industry revenue. Zajac, who never graduated from high school, worked early shifts at the steel mill so he could be home to tend his animals before dusk. As a teenager, he’d tried to import animals from Singapore; as a shop owner, he hopped on an airplane and picked them up himself. “It’s big enough already.”, This strange business in a small German city isn’t one of those modern pet stores without any pets, 32 Weird Animals for Sale at the World's Largest Pet Shop. In 2012, Zajac added a controversial mammal to his inventory. Zoo Zajac started selling puppies. “He offers some animals that we, the association of this industry, aren’t very happy with,” Schreiber says. Tens of thousands of people traveled from all over the world to visit and participate, and Zajac dreamed of a permanent pet shop of a similar magnitude. It is the largest food company in the world measured by revenues. Zajac always sold dog food and supplies, but like all German pet shop owners, he’d stopped selling dogs themselves in the 1970s. Zoo Zajac is the biggest pet Store in the world with about 250.000 Animals and 3000 different species. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for the best Pet Stores in Burlington, MA. Oh, Scott petting the stingray wasn't abberant behavior on his part. Pet Stores in the US industry trends (2015-2020) Pet Stores in the US industry outlook (2020-2025) poll Average industry growth 2020-2025 : x.x lock Purchase this report or a membership to unlock the average company profit margin for this industry. But German pet ownership, like many German enthusiasms, gets a little weird. Zoo Zajac’s 140 employees were important to the local economy, so the city offered to lease a warehouse to Zajac until he could afford to buy it. One pet food manufacturer withdrew its products from the store's shelves. He's entrusted 49 percent of the company to his eldest daughter, Katja Banaszak, who will run it when he's no longer able. It makes sense that the "live musical capital of the world" would be the home of a record shop famous for hosting amazing in-store performances. “He always has extreme ideas,” she says, with loving exasperation. "It's almost used as a gratis zoo by the people," says Ulrich Schürer, the former director of the nearby Zoo Wuppertal. The biggest question facing Zoo Zajac, though, may be whether it can outlive the man who built it. She can buy armadillos, meerkats, coatis, and monkeys; or fill aquariums with jellyfish, tetras, shellfish, and piranhas. He logs more than 2,500 miles a year inside the store. Banaszak is a thoughtful and soft-spoken woman with shoulder-length hair, rimless glasses, and a totally normal wardrobe. When Zajac is watching TV or relaxing in his hot tub, he's never more than a flight of stairs away from his animal collection, just like when he bred hamsters in his basement as a little boy. “In the last five years, we’ve sold 30 percent more in products without making more money,” he says. Even the German Pet Trade & Industry Association didn't support him. Zoo Zajac was, at the time, two-thirds of its present size, still large enough to earn it the distinction of the biggest pet shop in the world. A pregnant woman in the city of Duisburg, near the Dutch border, was trying to sell her pet shop before she gave birth. Zajac had left his moped inside, so he shuffled to the next car and inspected its license plate as well. Germany never legally prohibited their sale, but no other German pet shop was selling dogs when Zoo Zajac resumed in 2012. “A hundred kilometers.” Zajac had left his moped inside, so he shuffled to the next car and inspected its license plate as well. Chains slashed operating costs by eliminating live animals and exploited economies of scale to sell an ever-increasing variety of products as cheaply as possible. Whether you need dog toys, cat toys, or a new pet fish, We have everything you need for you and your pets needs. No other country had more than 15. He claims to have already died and been resuscitated on the operating table four times. All of the food choices and toys galore. He converted a storage area into a saltwater aquarium floor in 1978. One pet food manufacturer withdrew its products from the store’s shelves. Between these big four, they own almost all of the best known dog food brands. The largest pet store in the world is located in Duisburg, Germany. Zoo Zajac’s puppy section is usually crowded with cooing spectators, but the shop has sold fewer dogs than anticipated—just 300 last year. Now if you buy a goldfish and it gets sick, you take it to the veterinarian.”. Even better, Waterloo is … After he's led you through the exotic mammals, the terrarium, the garden, the aquarium, the puppies, the birds, and the small mammals, he might take you to the parking lot for one of his favorite shows of all. Zoo Zajac has become for the Ruhr Valley what Zajac’s childhood home was for his classmates. "See the Bible, David and Goliath," says Zajac. (His total staff of 200 includes three full-time veterinarians.) | (Ériver Hijano), Zoo Zajac has become for the Ruhr Valley what Zajac's childhood home was for his classmates. Zoo Zajac’s growth was fueled by Germany’s development into the European country with the most money and the lowest birthrate, the two factors that lead consumers to lavish money on their pets. Visit our fun locations and meet our friendly puppy pals today! Within the walls of Bird Paradise awaits any bird and bird owner’s dream come true. Zajac lives on the second floor in a modest apartment behind his office with his wife, Jutta, and a mother-daughter pair of dachshunds. While many independent shops disappeared or turned to high-end services like grooming or day care, Zajac took the opposite tack. Zoo Zajac sells 50 species of tarantula and maintains one of the finest reptile collections in Western Europe — better, even, than many zoos'. From breed selection, pet training and pet products; Pet Express is your goto puppy expert! The addition wasn’t vicious or endangered, but the most conventional pet of all. The largest pet store is the Zoo Zajac owned and managed by Norbert Zajac (Germany), situated in Duisburg, Germany. Residents of North Rhine-Westphalia, the state that contains Duisburg, spend more on their pets than any other Germans. The vehicle never leaves the premises and logs more than 2,500 miles a year. Zajac borrowed money from his father and took over the small store on a quiet residential street in 1975. It’s more than twice the size of the White House and three times as large as a Whole Foods Market. It has no central computer system and runs mostly off of paper: To answer a question about his daily operating costs, Zajac fetched a calculator and did the math. Get started on having happy, healthy pets today! Germany, however, has some of the lowest rates of dog and cat ownership in all of Europe. If you have not had the opportunity to visit our store, you are in for a wonderful experience. Germany’s dog and cat populations are growing, and the country’s small-mammal population shrank more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to Euromonitor. He quit cats in 1985. "I had to help the mother give birth here on the living room table," he says. (Zoo Zajac, which has about 1 million annual visitors, would rank in the top 30 of European zoos if it were eligible.). In Western countries, where family sizes are shrinking, pet owners no longer treat their animals as property but as children, pampering them with products and services that would have once seemed ridiculous: bottled water, gluten-free kibble, doggy diapers, designer beds. At 14, Zajac asked a career counselor what he should do with his life. "If I sold only animals, I would lose 250,000 euros a year.". “See the Bible, David and Goliath,” says Zajac. Unless you’ve been living and shopping in a cave, you will certainly have heard of each of pet food’s big four corporations. Seven of the 10 most visited European zoos in 2013 were in Germany, and the remaining three were in German-speaking Austria and Switzerland. Zajac is particularly fond of shirts that spread the image of an animal, like a manatee or a gorilla, from his shoulders to his navel, as if his ample torso were an IMAX screen. People increasingly disapproved of the sale of the most affectionate species, and, despite Zoo Zajac’s continual growth, it was hard to find sufficient space for cats and dogs in the store. Named Zoo Zajac, it is located in a 130,000 square-foot warehouse and houses more than 250,000 animals from 3,000 different species. He wrote a fundraising notice in his catalog, asking customers for loans to renovate the warehouse, which he would repay at 7 percent interest—a better rate than he could get from any bank. For a full list of record titles, please use our Record Application Search. It is, according to Guinness World Records, the biggest pet shop in the world. “Cologne,” he said. Taste is becoming more conventional, shedding the quirks that made Zoo Zajac possible in the first place. Instead, there’s an abundance of so-called exotic pets. Pet Express. “If I just sold only animals, I would lose €250,000 a year.”. "Before, if somebody had a pond in their backyard, they would buy a bunch of goldfish at Easter and plant a bunch of flowers around the pond," he says. Zajac saw no animals for sale. Much of that growth, though, has accrued to big-box retailers rather than small pet shops. Zajac is just 60 years old, but he's not a paragon of health. Pet Care is the nation's largest and most trusted provider of professional pet sitting and dog walking services, serving thousands of pets and pet parents from coast to coast. Zoo Zajac opened in its current location on Nov. 17, 2004. Zajac borrowed money from his father and took over the small store on a quiet residential street in 1975. Visit the BringFido Worldwide Pet Store Directory for recommendations on thousands of pet stores worldwide. In the U.S., they make up only 6 percent of the retail pet market. It’s called Zoo Zajac, and it unfurls, like an airport terminal, along a horseshoe in the road. “A pet store mostly subsists off of accessories and merchandise associated with the animal,” Zajac says. It is, according to Guinness World Records, the biggest pet shop in the world. The store covers an area of 8,070.26 m² (86,867.21 ft²) as of September 2005 All records listed on our website are current and up-to-date. As many as 12,000 visitors will arrive on a Saturday, and many of them won't buy anything at all, except for perhaps a currywurst or coffee at the cafeteria. DoubleDeuce: This is the only pet store that you need if you and your pet live in the area. He became Germany's youngest licensed parrot breeder in 1967, when he was 13, and quickly cornered the local market on parakeets by training them to breed at Christmastime. From Business: PetSmart is the world s largest pet supply and service retailer, offering over 10,000 products in each store to meet all of your pet s needs. She admires her father, but she hasn’t quite inherited his obsessions. The steel industry had declined over the decades, and Duisburg was losing population every year. The biggest question facing Zoo Zajac today may be whether it can outlive the man who built it. Pet World has donated the space for Kitty City for many years in the interest of promoting the placement of stray, abandoned, surrendered and rescued cats and kittens. In the U.S. the humanization trend has ridden largely on the backs of dogs and cats, whose owners spend the most money on their pets but are the least likely to buy their animals in pet shops. "It's big enough already.". He continued down the row of tiny European vehicles, estimating the distance of their journey to his store. The “humanization” trend has benefited more than just animals. That Fish Place - That Pet Place is a store unlike any other. "Wuppertal," he said. In the U.S., they make up only 6 percent of the retail pet market. “When I found out about an animal, I wanted to hold it, and when I held an animal, I wanted to breed it,” Zajac says. Today, Zajac’s pet shop fills a 130,000-square-foot warehouse in an industrial part of Duisburg. Zajac on his moped. Germany never legally prohibited their sale, but no other German pet shop was selling dogs when Zoo Zajac resumed in 2012. A baby chameleon (left) and meerkats in their pen. Chains such as Fressnapf keep encroaching on Zoo Zajac’s business—there are 16 Fressnapfs now within 10 miles of Duisburg, and Zajac paid one a visit on a recent summer afternoon. Similarly, 7 of the 10 most visited European zoos in 2013 were in Germany, and the remaining three were in German-speaking Austria and Switzerland. Germans are also, by reputation, more analytical than sentimental, which could help explain their interest in animals that are observed in tanks or cages rather than commingled in the family home. Two years after he bought his first shop, which was 700 square feet, Zajac started renting space in the house next door. Even the German Pet Trade & Industry Association didn’t support him. Well-behaved, leashed pets are always welcome in our store, so bring the 'kids' along for the adventure! He wears only animal-themed shirts from The Mountain, the clothier whose Three Wolf Moon design became an Internet meme after a sarcastic Amazon.com reviewer praised its ability to attract women. Zoo Zajac is the only pet store in Germany where customers can buy a dog. Our Pet World owners have been in pet retail in Central Florida since the early 1980’s. Nestlé’s products include baby food, medical food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. He noted with satisfaction that the shop was only about 6,500 square feet, but turned sour after counting just two workers. A walk around the place is essentially an endurance sport, which is why Zajac, a heavy man with two bad knees, zips up and down the aisles on a black moped. Two years later, he was working again at the mill when he saw an advertisement in the local paper. It’s called Zoo Zajac, and it unfurls, like an airport terminal, along a horseshoe in the road. The pros and cons of breaking up Facebook, Schumer reportedly abandons fundraising efforts in Georgia's Senate runoffs, At L.A. hospital, there are so many COVID-19 patients some are being put in the gift shop. “One week after Easter, the plants would be dead and the goldfish would be dead, too. Dogs, Pet Grooming, Pet Grooming Services & Supplies, Pet Food Stores & Pet Supplies, Pet Clothing & Accessories Mi. Kitty City at Pet World is the official adoption center for Stray Pets in Need of Natick, MA. “I believe the Chinese can do anything,” he says. In Western countries, where family sizes are shrinking, pet owners no longer treat their animals as property, but as children, pampering them with products and services that would have once seemed ridiculous: bottled water, gluten-free kibble, doggy diapers, designer beds. Zajac is just 60 years old, but he’s not a paragon of health. He survived not through specialization, but through spectacle — by building a pet shop so large that it has gravitational pull. Zajac thinks he can get them from a German zoo, but so far his daughter has persuaded him to hold off. Animal-rights activists picketed the store and called him greedy and irresponsible. He raised €2 million in three months. 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