Petco today announced another retail partnership, this one designed to appeal to dog owners who are outdoor enthusiasts.
The pet retailer has teamed up with Backcountry, which sells camping, hiking and other outdoor gear online, to create a collection of outdoor gear for dogs joining their owners in outdoor adventures.
The collection, Backcountry x Petco, will be sold in Petco stores as well as on the Petco.com and Backcountry.com e-commerce sites.
The partnership is Petco’s latest move to differentiate itself in the highly competitive companion animal space and to find new ways to connect with pet owners who are not Petco customers.
In January, he announced a pilot program to install Petco mini-stores in Lowe’s hardware stores, with 15 of the stores expected to open by the end of March. Mini-Petcos sell a selection of products and also give Lowe’s shoppers access to Petco services like vaccinations, grooming and microchipping.
Petco is also showing that it wants to be everything for all pet owners. Last fall, it opened a store in New York’s Soho neighborhood to showcase its high-end private label line, Reddy, and it recently announced to investors that it is planning a new store concept aimed at customers. rural, with a farm and pet motif.
The Backcountry collaboration aims to appeal to the new demographic of outdoor-loving pet owners, said Aaron Weiss, senior vice president of own brands at Petco. “There’s a whole new generation of pet owners out there eager to explore the outdoors — and bring their pets with them,” he said. The products are designed to be durable and suitable for activities like camping and hiking, he said.
Backcountry CEO Melanie Cox called the collaboration a “natural fit”, saying 84% of Backcountry customers have dogs.
“We’re proud to offer premium products designed to connect family members outdoors, whether they have two or four legs,” Cox said.
The 54-item collection includes canine sleeping bags and travel mats, collapsible crates, flotation devices, harnesses, leashes, and canine clothing like jackets and bandanas.
Petco has a number of advantages in the relentless race to become the leader in pet pack retail. Pet expenses have increased with the huge increase in pet adoptions during the pandemic, and those expenses are expected to last a long time, with each new animal adopted likely to be a member of the owner’s household for a decade or so. more.
But Petco, PetSmart, Chewy, and a host of startups are all fighting for the love of these new “pet parents.”
Petco has physical stores—which Chewy wishes it had—and a network of in-store and store-adjacent veterinary clinics and veterinary hospitals that support its claim to be “the health and wellness company” for pets. pets. It also claims to be the premium and more premium retailer, a way to differentiate itself from Amazon’s efforts.
Analysts wondered how much partnerships like Lowe’s stores would add to Petco’s bottom line. A deal like the Backcountry Collaboration isn’t so much about the inferior lime as it is about the Petco brand as the best retail choice for a wider group of pet parents.