The net effects from the COVID-19 pandemic were positive for Petco Mexico, according to an article by Forbes México.
In the article, writer José Roberto Arteaga states that the pandemic forced Petco to be more efficient across all sales channels as lockdowns encouraged consumers to look for an omnichannel experience. Petco has helped its clients consider their specific needs in terms of place, time and preference; its offerings include a return to telephone sales for customers who prefer personal service.
Petco Mexico is a joint venture between Petco USA and Grupo Gigante, a real-estate group and retail specialist in Mexico. According to Grupo Gigante’s 2020 annual report, Petco saw sales increase by 35%. The same year, the company launched the Petco mobile app that contributed to 30% of total online sales. Petco claims its total e-commerce sales experienced a three-digit increase.
The company opened eight new stores in 2020 to finish the year with 97 establishments in 23 states of Mexico.
Petco is one of the companies that claims to have the highest-volume pet adoption program in Mexico, with its annual report stating it has supported the adoption of 32,771 dogs and 17,317 cats, among other species, in the country.
According to a Triplethree International report on premium pet food, Petco outperformed the specialty pet food channel during the pandemic. However, the company reduced its product array, at least in the online environment. For example, in June 2019, the company offered 894 dry dog food product varieties online. In June 2020, the year of the pandemic, the company reduced its product assortment to 561 product varieties, while in July 2021, Petco boosted its product offerings to back up to 702.
The opening of new stores and improvement of omnichannel strategies were part of Petco’s success in 2020. The company likely undertook two additional strategies.
First, it may have focused on the best-selling pet food products, such as a few natural and grain-free varieties, and the top-selling prescription products. Second, the price mix increased as people demanded smaller packages; those products have relatively higher prices.
Overall, Petco overcame the pandemic with a combination of innovation, technology and, mainly, market expertise.
Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).
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