A report from February 2015 said PetSmart and Petco account for 20% of all pet product sales in the US, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts. The two pet retail stores had combined sales of about US$11 billion based on Packaged Facts' estimates, with sales of natural pet products an important factor in the strong performances.
Petco has been in the news lately, as a deal was reached this week for Petco Holdings Inc. to be acquired by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a US$4.6 billion deal.
The deal came after Petco rival PetSmart in September began exploring the possibility of acquiring Petco. But, in October, merger talks between the two companies stalled because of disagreements over antitrust risks.
In August 2015, Petco filed for an initial public offering of stock that could have valued it at US$5 billion to US$6 billion, including debt. And, in early October, the company said it would go public again after nine years of private ownership. But, later, Petco’s private equity owners decided to sell the company instead of following through on the IPO.
As for the success of Petco and PetSmart, 'Although PetSmart is public and Petco privately held, the two companies share a number of similarities. This ranges from their pet parent pitch, to their focus on national brands and private labels alike, to their emphasis on higher-margin products and services, to their leading e-commerce websites,' says David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts research director. 'For both chains, factoring strongly among those higher-margin products are natural products.'
For PetSmart and Petco, natural products are a major thrust, with Petco fielding its 'store-within-store' It's All Natural departments, and PetSmart — which in December 2014 agreed to be acquired for more than $8 billion by a group led by BC Partners Inc. — calling itself 'the most trusted source for natural pet solutions.' Both chains feature a wide array of natural brands, with category leaders including Nutro, Blue Buffalo, WellPet, Natural Balance, Merrick and Natura.