Justin Tichy’s promotion came at a pivotal time for Petco. The retail veteran, who previously served as the retailer’s chief pet centers officer, became its chief operating officer in August, which added new responsibilities, like overseeing the company’s distribution centers.
Since going public at the start of 2021, the pet care brand has been reinventing itself, opening new store concepts and broadening its ecosystem of pet consumer services, like Vital Care membership, veterinary clinics, and hospitals. It’s referred to as Petco’s “retail 3.0” differentiation strategy.
- “We are driving the next evolution of retail and will continue to leverage the strategic footprint of what we call our pet care centers—our physical locations—and better personalize both the in-store and online shopping experience to gain share, drive profitable growth and, most importantly, create better outcomes for the pets and pet parents we serve,” Tichy told Retail Brew.
In Q2, demand for Petco services like for grooming and veterinary grew 13% YoY, which translated to 62% growth on a two-year basis. Vital Care is a $19.99 paid membership program for Petco customers that was introduced in October 2020, but has seen significant upgrades this year.
- In the spring, Vital Care introduced an affiliate program that extended benefits and discounts to Petco’s affiliate partners’ employees and customers. Some of those partners include Rover.com, the San Diego Padres, Companion Protect, and Central Garden & Pet.
- In August, right after Tichy’s promotion, the program—once only available for dog and cat owners—expanded to birds, reptiles, fish, and other small animals.
“When we add vet hospitals and other services, such as grooming or training, to our PCCs, we see a center store lift. If a pet parent comes into a PCC to get their dog’s nails clipped, they may also pick up dog food or a chew toy,” he said. “Once they take part in our services, we’ve seen higher engagement and more opportunities to bring them further into the Petco ecosystem.”
Petco’s store strategy is now more robust as well. Tichy was already responsible for running the company’s 1,500 US stores, which now includes a more diverse set of offerings. For example, in June, Petco began testing a new concept store, Neighborhood Farm & Pet supply, a health and wellness-focused store aimed at serving the needs of pet and farm animals in small-town and rural areas.
- Last October, Petco opened the first brick-and-mortar storefront for its Reddy apparel brand.
- These stores are new attempts to carve out greater market share through omnichannel services. Now, Petco has 84 shop-in-shops through various retail partnerships.
“As part of our long-term strategic priorities, we’re leveraging the power of our comprehensive pet database where we gain a better understanding of what pet parents and pets need, and using this data-driven approach to enhance the pet-parent experience and deepen engagement and loyalty,” he said.
Source: Retail Brew