Lowe’s Announces Plans to Open Petco Shops Inside Select Stores

by TK Sanders
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Big box hardware retailer Lowe’s wants to diversify their in-store offerings by adding some creature comforts for your creatures. In a joint venture announced Thursday, Lowe’s and pet supply store PetCo will combine forces to offer shoppers more incentive to buy in-store.

Lowe’s said it plans to open PetCo stores within its own walls in select locations. The PetCo stores will carry the typical pet products like food and litter. It will also provide bathing and vet services, as well. The first hybrid store will open near San Antonio in early February. An additional 14 locations are set to open in Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina by the end of March.

Neither company disclosed terms of contract lengths. The match could prove fruitful, though, as both the DIY and pet industries enjoyed a major pandemic-bump over the last two years. Apparently, all the time at home inspired many Americans to fix their leaky faucets and adopt a new critter for the family.

Lowe’s and PetCo want more millennial foot traffic

Two possible impending retail hurdles, though, are the rising cost of goods and the supply chain woes. Lowe’s hopes to combat the issues via diversification of products (like the pet sector) and by leaning in to industries that are booming right now, like real estate. Lowe’s sells more home decor now than ever; and it even launched an initiative to sell seniors more items that help them stay in their homes longer.

PetCo hopes that the partnership brings along more natural foot traffic for their products. Shopping at a big box store may also help customers justify spending more on their pets, given the already-high price tag of many DIY products. Basically, spending a little extra on a pet toy may come easier for a consumer when they’re already buying a new sink, too.

Petco Chief Merchandising Officer Nick Konat said he expects the new stores to resonate with millennials. During the pandemic, many of those 20- and 30-somethings moved away from social life and gravitated toward home life, perhaps ahead of schedule. They bought homes or moved into bigger places, adopted cats or dogs — perhaps even seeing the pets as a “trial run” before having children, he said.

“They’re a high-spend customer and they really take care of their pet like their family,” he said. “And they’ve also been doing the same with their homes, with a lot of them being new homeowners or new renters.”

Some stores will also offer a wider range of services. Veterinarians and pet professionals (i.e. trainers) will visit the sites, providing vaccination, microchipping, worm prevention and mobile grooming.

Other retailers getting in on the diversification trend

Other retailers have similar partnerships in place for the upcoming years.

Target struck a deal with Ulta Beauty to open curated shops inside hundreds of its brick and mortar stores. Target also has similar shop-in-shops with Apple and Disney at select locations. 

Sephora recently inked an agreement with Kohl’s to have its beauty shops in stores. Kroger grocery stores will carry some Bed Bath & Beyond merchandise at select stores. And Macy’s is rolling out Toys R Us shops for their department store customers.

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