Petco gets into the subscription box biz

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Petco is taking its digital strategy to a new level with the purchase of PupBox, a San Diego startup that delivers a curated selection of pet products to consumers.

Terms of Petco's deal to acquire PupBox were not disclosed.

Alongside the acquisition, and just in time for the holiday of gifting, Petco and PupBox have launched the first-ever PupBox Holiday Box.

"Our Holiday Box is the perfect gift for that special pup in your life, and we are so excited to be launching this with Petco," said Ben Zvaifler, CEO of PupBox. "Pets are absolutely part of our families and we want to make sure every fur-baby has a present to open along with the rest of their loved ones this year."

Back in April, Petco rival PetSmart made the biggest e-comm acquisition in history by buying in a $3.35 billion deal.

Each Holiday Box is customized based on pet size and features a few seasonal favorites hand-selected by the PupBox and Petco teams. The Holiday Box is now available online at and at select Petco stores. 

PupBox's core subscription offering is designed to help new pet parents navigate the many joys and challenges of puppyhood and beyond. The company delivers monthly bundles filled with developmentally appropriate products that range from toys and treats to grooming tools and accessories. Each PupBox also includes a training guide filled with information to help pet parents keep up with their pet's changing training, developmental and physical needs.

"Helping pet parents improve the health and wellbeing of their pets while deepening their bond is at the very core of our mission," said Petco CEO Brad Weston. "Navigating through everything new puppies and dogs need, and how to keep them healthy and happy as they grow, can be challenging. Combining Petco's breadth of product and services offerings with PupBox's highly customized monthly subscription service takes the guess work away from pet parents and provides everything they need to raise a healthy, happy pup at every stage of life."

PupBox was co-founded by Ben and Ariel Zvaifler in 2014 after they adopted a new Goldendoodle puppy, Maggie, and then struggled to find products that were perfectly suited for her constantly changing needs. After success as an early stage start-up, the San Diego-based company appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in November 2016, where they secured funding from investor Robert Herjavec, and have since gone on to more than double their sales.

"We're thrilled to bring PupBox to an established industry leader like Petco, and excited to aggressively expand our current offering together, while helping pet parents and the pets they love," said Ben Zvaifler, PupBox CEO. "Our values and drive to make pet parenthood easier are perfectly aligned; and we're ready to help even more new pet parents spend less time worrying about what they need as their pets grow and more time soaking up all the puppy love."

As part of the acquisition, Ben and Ariel, along with the entire PupBox team, will join Petco.