Petco has left behind its big-box roots and is now opening a new type of retail store. This will offer pet-friendly amenities like dog baths, play yards, and treats that are suitable for humans to appeal to picky pet owners who might otherwise shun the main brand. The PetCoach pilot store in San Diego County, which was unveiled this week, is a reimagining of the traditional pet store. Instead of offering a wide range of products, services like veterinary care, grooming, and dog day care dominate the in-store experience. Toys, food, clothing, and toys are also available. However, they are displayed according to task so customers can both get the care they need while still finding the right product. Petco plans to open two more PetCoach locations within San Diego County in the next six-months, with the possibility of additional locations across the country depending upon their reception.
Total Retail’s View: Petco is changing its strategy for brick-and-mortar stores to offer customers services that are only available in person. It makes sense. Petco believes that experiential retail is applicable to animals, as well as people. PetCoach’s stores will be convenient and one-stop shops for all their pet care needs. PetCoach customers can pay a $9 per month membership fee to receive discounted products and services, taking cues from Amazon Prime and its Prime loyalty program. Old retail is dying but retail isn’t dying. Petco hopes to bring new life to its brick-and mortar business with the opening of its PetCoach shop.