Retail

PetSmart Pushes Pet Pampering

In a retail world increasingly dominated by customer experience as opposed to products alone, it is not surprising that a firm that caters to pet owners would try to build a better experience for their real customer.

The pets.

Sure, humans do the actual paying, but the customer is really the beloved furry (or feathered, or scaled) family member being shopped for. Extravagantly shopped for in some cases, as Americans spent more than $60 billion on their animal companions last year.

And PetSmart wants in on some of that action, and has opened its first ever Pet Spa to capture it. Housed in Oceanside, New York, the new design is aimed at not just supplying a pet, but offering it an “extended experience” as well as a location to learn about all the latest and greatest in ideas for pet merchandise.

Part store, part pet care lab – and entirely focused on services suffused with modern design. The approximately 7,400-square-foot locations are smaller than the average PetSmart (18,000-20,000 square feet) and much more focused on modern design touches like coffee bar-lounge area where owners can enjoy a free drink while their pet gets groomed.

And more than just a quick cut and fluff, the Pet Spa offers a large menu of academy-trained, certified stylists and operates adjacent to a pet hospital run by partner firm Banfield.

“In order to innovate at retail, you have to try new concepts and that’s really what the PetSmart Pet Spa in Oceanside, New York, is all about,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer of PetSmart. “Like any spa, our Pet Spa store is intended to provide the amenities and comforts to enhance one’s lifestyle, but this time with your pet.”

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