Lowe’s and Petco are looking to get customers’ tails wagging with a joint venture that will place store-in-store pet supply outlets inside 15 of its home improvement warehouse locations in three states.
In announcing the partnership, the two retailers said their research found that 58% of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at a home improvement retailer if they could also get all of their pet supplies in the same place.
“This partnership enhances the total home solution we offer [our customers] by bringing home improvement and pet care products, services and expertise together under one roof,” said Lowe’s Executive Vice President of Merchandising Bill Boltz in a statement, noting the high prioritization consumers have for both categories.
The first location is set to open in Texas in February, followed by 14 other Petco store-in-stores being added to additional Lowe’s locations in North Carolina and South Carolina by the end of March.
The announcement comes in the wake of U.S. households taking in an estimated 11 million new pets during the pandemic, the companies said, and at a time of consumers demanding more convenient and cohesive shopping experiences, both in-store and online.
“Why not consolidate shopping trips and monetize floor space,” PYMNTS’ Karen Webster said of the new offer.
“And practically everyone has a dog or cat now,” she added, noting the move consistent with the growing “super app concept” — but only in the physical sense.
All About the Basket
While Lowe’s and Petco are the latest to embrace the store-in-store concept, they are certainly not the first retailers looking to increase basket size and share of total consumer spend via this type of convenience play. Others include Target and Apple and Nordstrom and Indochino.
“It sort of becomes a new version of the impulse buy, ‘Oh yes, let me grab some pet stuff,’” Webster said in characterizing the strategy.
Ahead of the physical store-in-store rollout, the “Petco at Lowe’s” online store is already up and running. While the site invites customers to shop on their own schedule and to make pet product purchases online or via the app for pickup at select Lowe’s locations, it also notes that the products are not eligible for home delivery.
With front-of-store location and a staff member from each retailer on hand, the pairing is clearly aimed at driving and maximizing foot traffic — either on two legs or four.
“Lowe’s stores nationwide have had a longstanding open-door policy to pets,” the company said, adding that the new locations will provide a “unique customer experience” that will serve the health and wellness needs of consumers through a curated assortment of pet nutrition, supplies and services and “improve the home they share in one shopping trip.”
While rival The Home Depot carries an extensive line of pet care products online, such as beds, bowls and brushes, it does not currently offer pet food or care services, and its in-store offerings are much more limited.
For its part, Petco said bringing its expertise, products, and veterinary and grooming services to Lowe’s will make it “easier than ever” to create healthy, happy homes for pets and pet owners alike, and will serve as a compliment to its existing footprint of 1,500 stores.