Petco Goes Off The Leash In San Antonio
Petco has called San Antonio its "second home" for years—but with its new expansion plan, the company will leave an indelible footprint on animal lovers. We talked with president Brad Weston about the plans, and what San Antonio means to the company.
Brad, who owns two French bulldogs, tells us Petco has embarked on a fast-paced growth plan for 2016, debuting a number of new store formats in the San Antonio area this spring. Seven 12k to 16k SF stores reopened under the new format in April and May, and an eighth new store is opening this summer.
The growth is coming from a mix of acquisitions and new build, Brad says, but the company likes to be able to customize its spaces.
Petco’s aggressive national growth plan aims to open more stores than in previous years (in 2015, the chain opened 50 stores), and has already added 20 this year. This brick-and-mortar growth plan is being implemented with an omnichannel strategy that includes partners like Instacart, which powers its “PetcoNow” same-day delivery service, as well as a ship-from-store offering for any products that aren’t available when customers visit.
The new designs encompass things like connection areas, where potential pet parents can play with their small pets, try out new products and consult with staff.
Brad tells us Petco wanted its stores to deliver pet services that customers can't get online—grooming services, for example, and vet consults.
The plans are being actualized as San Antonio is experiencing a “market makeover,” Brad tells us, but Petco has a soft spot for San Antonio. The company employs about 600 people here. In 2011, Petco built a customer support center in the city, and it's the HQ of Petco Foundation.