Petco launches banner focused on personalization
Petco is launching a new store format based on the components of an app.
Petco calls its new pet care store concept, PetCoach, a “first-of-its-kind pet care concept that offers a whole new way for pet parents to provide complete care for their pets.” PetCoach was developed as an app to help pet owners better care for their pets, connecting them with veterinarians and providing personalized answers to their questions. Petco bought PetCoach in April of last year.
"The new PetCoach location serves as an innovation lab where we can test and learn more about what pet parents want and need to live their best lives with their pets," said Petco EVP, Strategic Innovation & Digital Experience Brock Weatherup. "The concept allows us to continue creating new, differentiated and personalized pet care experiences, all backed by our extensive veterinary expertise and support."
The news comes shortly after PetSmart’s announcement of the launch of its new in-store program experiences. PetSmart has been one of the few brick and mortar retailers that has been increasing its store counts instead of lowering them. PetCoach was developed by serial entrepreneur Brock Weatherby, who also created Pet350.com, which was sold to PetSmart for $160 million in fall 2014. Petco has not disclosed how much they are paying for PetCoach.
"Pet parents tell us they want expert advice they can trust and easy, seamless access to everything they need to take the best possible care of the pets they love," said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin, who took the helm on June 18. "With PetCoach, we're reinventing the idea of a traditional 'pet store' by providing complete care experiences – from grooming, training and day care to full-service veterinary care – that simply can't be delivered by mail or by a mass retailer."
The new store is now available in San Marcos, Calif., about an hour north of Petco’s San Diego headquarters, where consumers can have 24/7 access to the support they need. According to Shopper Marketing Magazine, the location is about 11,000 square feet and stocks only 60 percent of the SKUs found at a standard Petco. On-site services for the program include grooming, training, veterinary care, nutrition consultations, day care, self-wash, mobile vet house calls and dog walking. The program also offers an integrated team of “Pet Coaches,” who are supposed to collaborate and help customers make educated decisions for their pets. It is unclear if and when Petco plans to expand their new in-store app.
Petco operates more than 1,500 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.