03 May 2017

BUSINESS - Petco Acquires PetCoach

Petco recently announced that it acquired PetCoach, a digital services company that connects pet parents with veterinary professionals, trainers and other experts for free personalized answers and advice.

This follows the acquisition of pet supplies and pet medicine e-retailer Drs. Foster & Smith in 2014.

Both purchases show the importance of online retail and services for brick and mortar stores like Petco.

Some may find the PetCoach acquisition puzzling for a profit-based organization that is focused on the bottom line.

But one thing recent corporate acquisitions has demonstrated is the importance of elements like an online subscriber base and social innovation.

Providing pet owners answers to the medical and behaviour questions they may have helps build relationships and customer loyalty - something that is extremely valuable in today’s digital world.

"Nurturing powerful relationships for better lives together is at the heart of all we do," said Petco CEO, Brad Weston.

"As we continue evolving our value proposition – helping pet owners wherever and however they want to improve the health and well-being of their pet -- we believe that an entrepreneurial and digital leader of Brock's caliber will help Petco exceed the ever-changing digital expectations of the modern pet parent."

As part of the acquisition, Brock Weatherup, PetCoach co-founder and CEO, joins the national pet specialty retailer as Executive Vice President, Strategic Innovation & Digital Experience.

In this new role, Weatherup will be responsible for driving Petco's growth through innovation and enterprise-wide, consumer-focused digital initiatives.

"We are thrilled to be joining a talented team and a leading company like Petco. Connecting even more pet parents and their pets to the personalized tools, resources, veterinarian advice and products they need is exciting," said Weatherup.

"Having had the opportunity to lead and build several startups, we are ready to bring the speed, innovation, competitiveness and scrappiness of entrepreneurialism to Petco, while leveraging their scale, infrastructure, resources and strong brand."

Petcoach reportedly has more than 150,000 unique monthly visitors and receives several thousand health questions each month.


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