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The Brief
Published: 1 Aug 2018

Petco Opens a Service-Led Wellbeing Store for Animals

Extra
Pet Coach

Service-led stores are thriving, so why not create one for pets? American retailer Petco recently opened Pet Coach, a one-stop shop for veterinary, day-care and training services that pampers animals with human-grade luxuries.

As we explained in our Global Pet Expo coverage, today’s pet owners care for their animals with the same wellbeing practices and premium products they use on themselves. To cater to this consumer cohort, Petco reimagined its formerly online-only shop Pet Coach into a service-led store that blends personalised amenities and high-end products with easy-to-access digital perks. 

The debut Pet Coach in San Marcos, California astutely replicates many of the soft-sell strategies we’re seeing across retail, and recently discussed in Soft Sell: The New Retail. Two-thirds of the 12,000 sq ft store houses bookable nutrition consultations, training sessions and grooming stations. A small selection of vet-approved toys and human-grade fresh food lets shoppers access pet-care supplies recommended during their appointments.

To boost its physical footprint, Pet Coach is wisely positioning its e-commerce platform as an extension of the in-store experience. Customers can create digital pet profiles to receive personalised advice for both online and in-store queries (all Pet Coach vets have access to the information).  

Similarly, an optional $9-per-month membership provides both e-commerce and in-person benefits, such as free monthly toys and an online vet hotline. These amenities cleverly blend the ease of online shopping with the benefits of in-person experiences to create repeat personalised shopping opportunities that cultivate loyal customers. 

Stefanie Dorfer, Stylus’ Retail editor, salutes Pet Coach in capitalising on the booming pet market: “The fact that consumers increasingly consider pets as genuine family members is propelling demand for lavish services, especially those that echo human treats.”

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