Petco Launches Service-Oriented Store Concept
Leaving behind its big-box roots, Petco is opening a new kind of retail store where animal-friendly amenities such as dog baths, play yards and treats fit for humans are meant to win over picky pet owners who would otherwise snub the mainstream brand. Called PetCoach, the pilot store in northern San Diego County — unveiled this week — is the old pet store reimagined. Instead of a vast array of products, services such as veterinary care, grooming and dog day care not only dominate but also dictate the entire in-store experience. Food, clothing and toys are also available, but they’re displayed by task, meaning customers could come for the care but find a relevant product in the process. Petco has plans to open two additional PetCoach locations in San Diego County over the next six months, and possibly more around the country depending on their reception.
Total Retail's Take: With more of its product sales moving online — and increased competition in the category, particularly online — Petco is evolving its brick-and-mortar store strategy to provide customers with services for their pets that they can only get in person. Makes sense. Petco is betting that experiential retail applies not only to people, but animals as well. Pet owners will find its PetCoach stores to be convenient, one-stop shops for all of their pet care needs. And taking a page from Amazon and its Prime loyalty program, PetCoach customers will have the opportunity to pay a $9 monthly membership fee in exchange for discounted goods and services. The saying goes that retail isn't dying, old retail is dying. With the launch of its PetCoach store, Petco hopes to breathe new life into its brick-and-mortar business.