Petco’s new boutique concept is a private label experience

Discussion
Photo: Petco
Nov 01, 2021

Petco Health and Wellness Company has opened a new concept store designed to give pet parents and their dogs a chance to experience the chain’s private label in a new way.

The retailer opened Reddy SoHo last week, its first concept boutique built completely around the company’s premium lifestyle private label line of products for dogs. The Manhattan location, according to Petco, is intended to provide an “elevated shopping experience” based on a curated selection of Reddy brand items and in-store experiences designed to delight both two- and four-legged customers.

Petco, which launched the Reddy line in 2018, has seen it grow into one of its most popular brands. The retailer describes items within the brand’s portfolio covering apparel, collars, leashes, harnesses, beds, bowls, feeders and travel accessories as “high-quality, innovative, functional and sustainably-made.”

The Reddy brand includes a broad assortment of apparel, beds, bowls, collars, feeders, harnesses, leashes and travel accessories for everyday use.

Like other pet products, the brand’s sales have jumped since the beginning of the pandemic.

Petco’s new boutique concept is a private label experience
Photo: Petco

Nick Konat, Petco’s chief merchandising officer, said pet parents are getting outside more than ever and taking their dogs with them. The new store, he said, “will continue fueling that exploration by giving New York City pet parents a hub to bond, recharge and find the latest must-have gear to style their best lives together.”

The SoHo store design follows the Reddy brand’s color palette and includes a lounge with free Wi-Fi. The store will add an “adventure concierge” in the coming months who will help pet parents plan activities with their dogs and will offer a calendar of recommended activities in and around the city.

The boutique will house a fitting station for pet apparel featuring custom services such as on-site monogramming and personalized pet tags. Other amenities will include phone charging stations, sanitary water stations and a “treatery” with whipped cream cups for dogs.

The store will also have a JustFoodForDogs fresh nutrition station offering a variety of dog foods, treats and supplements to cater to the nutritional and health needs of its four-legged customers.

Petco plans to add new Reddy products that will be exclusive to the SoHo store.

Customers will be able to apply their Petco Pals Rewards and Petco gift cards for purchases at the location, which is open nine to nine, seven days a week.

  • Petco Opens Reddy SoHo, its First Owned Brand Flagship for Pets in New York City – Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the Reddy store concept will be successful enough to warrant further expansion by Petco? Do you see more retailers opening store concepts entirely or primarily dedicated to popular private label lines?

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"This is Nordstrom Local for pet owners and a great way to position their private label for national rollout. "

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11 Comments on "Petco’s new boutique concept is a private label experience"


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Christine Russo
BrainTrust

It’s probably a wait-and-see. Presumably, e-commerce data drove the location for the first store as well as the merchandising assortment. I applaud their investment in an experiential brick-and-mortar location.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I don’t think the Reddy store concept merely will be successful. It will be a smash hit. Out of the park. And yes, other retailers in this category will go to school on this one, and we will see change in stores.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

Concept stores are a great way to reinforce how engaging brick-and-mortar can be, but original store chains should also receive as much attention. Pet stores have suffered from staffing shortages, and this is a space where knowledgeable and available staff really matter. The pet category as a whole can certainly use this excitement, but the original model also needs a revamp.

We see this problematic approach in all retail categories – getting excited about a concept store spinoff and continuing to neglect the original brick-and-mortar platform. Hopefully both channels receive resources and dedicated strategy.

Laura Davis-Taylor
BrainTrust

I’ve seen the same Melissa, it often ends up being a red headed stepchild and fall down from a support perspective. As much as we need to keep store traffic healthy, I’d love to see this as a store-in-store instead. This said, they may be testing it as a standalone to gather metrics to plug in as a store-in-store — which would be super. I’d love to take my dog to this!

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

This is Nordstrom Local for pet owners and a great way to position their private label for national rollout. Given the success of PetSmart’s Chewy service, Petco has been playing catch-up for the past two years. Leveraging Reddy stores to help pet owners enjoy more experiences with their pets will be a great way for Petco to grow customer loyalty and increase awareness of their private label products.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

The Reddy concept feels like it has incredible potential to connect with dogs and dog parents alike. It looks like an effective showcase for their private label brands delivered in an experience entirely tailored to the needs of the customer. I wish them well.

Gary Sankary
BrainTrust

Petco is on to something here, I fully expect this will be a hit. There are so many pet owners out there who love to pamper their animals. They will be delighted to have a high prestige, brick-and-mortar destination where they indulge and shop with their companions. I do think Petco will have a limited window of opportunity to grow and expand because their competition is going to be right behind them with their own offerings in this space.

Liza Amlani
BrainTrust

Petco’s concept boutique is the perfect way to target an upscale customer through assortment and experience. The SoHo location aligns with the shopping journey of this customer and boutique pet stores are a growing category, especially with the increase in pet adoption during the pandemic.

The investment in a physical location will further engage the customer and bring like-minded shoppers together, building on the brand’s loyalty which could lead to “Reddy” experiences and localized events.

A great move for Petco and I can’t wait to visit this store!

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Petco has succeeded in aligning itself with pet wellness, including mental health. So short of training pets to go and shop at Petco themselves, the Reddypets boutique will probably do the trick. As with their “It’s What We’d Want If We Were Pets” ad campaign, it’s all about the bond between “pet parents” and pets and the importance of seeing things from your pet’s POV. The concept seems to have a good combo of reasons for pets and people to want to go there and actually make it part of their routines. I think SoHo is just the beginning.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

There is a wonderful indie owned pet store in our town. It’s upscale, has a tremendous variety of merchandise that you don’t see in many stores, and sales associates who really connect with pets and their owners. Sales are brisk and the store is currently moving from about a 2,500 square foot location to a spot recently vacated by a Charming Charley store.

There is an absolute market for stores like Reddy Pet. Other than specific areas, like food where brand is important, consumers won’t care that the product is private label if it is unique.

Rachelle King
BrainTrust

Very few brands, if any, can sustain a full private label store. Generally, national brands are brought along for the ride to defray costs. If Petco can make this work then they they have just written the new how-to playbook for private label experience.

What they got right, hands down, is knowing that New York City is a dog lover’s paradise; know where to find your customer. Second, more New Yorkers with dogs may have more disposable income to have their dogs served whipped cream. Again, spot on with knowing the customer. Third, pandemic pets are all the rage. New pet owners will want to treat their dogs after months of lockdown.

All the signs point to a positive experience foe Petco in Soho. However, it’s doubtful this luxury experience for both owners (let’s be honest) and dogs will translate much outside of New York and LA. This will be an interesting venture for Petco but how scalable is the real question.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"This is Nordstrom Local for pet owners and a great way to position their private label for national rollout. "

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