As the pet care industry continues to grow, the competition between retailers to become top dog has intensified. Amazon recently entered the playpen with its private label brand Wag, while Chewy has continued to grow in relevance. Feeling the squeeze in the e-commerce ecosystem, Petco has turned its focus to brick-and-mortar.

PetCoach, which was acquired by Petco in April 2017, opened its first physical store on Friday, offering grooming, training, and veterinary care to pet owners. While the store also carries traditional product assortment, the pilot store signals Petco’s attempt to differentiate itself from Chewy and Amazon, which are online pure plays.

Petco

Petco has struggled to gain traction against its competitors online, trailing both e-tailers in both branded and unbranded organic visibility on Google searches. In paid search, Chewy dominates as well, registering visibility for over half of branded terms through shopping ads, while Petco’s shopping ads appear for only 27% of these searches. With PetCoach, the company may hope to gain an edge in experiences.

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