STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Next time you make a quick trip to Lowe’s for a few cans of paint, some lumber and that toilet thing that needs fixing, you might be able to add a bag of dog food to your cart. The mega home improvement chain recently announced that it is joining forces with Petco, piloting a store-in-store pet-care program into a select segment of its locations across the country.
“For many of our customers, their pets and their homes top the list of things that matter most, especially after two years spent mostly together within the same four walls,” said Bill Boltz, Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising. “This partnership enhances the total home solution we offer them by bringing home improvement and pet care products, services and expertise together under one roof.”
Part of Lowe’s strategy to become a one-stop shop for everything homeowners may need, from kitchen appliances to throw pillows, the collaboration intends to draw in a new customer base while driving up store traffic.
STARTING IN THE SOUTH
The program will launch in the San Antonio, Texas, suburb of Alamo Ranch in early February, with 14 additional locations planned in other areas of Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina by the end of March. No word yet if the store-in-store program will extend to the Lowe’s locations in Mariners Harbor and Rossville, but in the meantime, customers can order pet products on Lowes.com.
“Over the past two years, Americans have found more comfort, security and emotional connection through their homes and pets than ever before … more than 11 million new pets entered U.S. homes since the start of the pandemic,” Lowe’s noted in a press release that details the reasons for this partnership.
This is not the first time Lowe’s has looked to new merchandise categories to keep sales growing. The corporation added more home decor to its website during the pandemic and launched a home improvement initiative geared toward seniors in November. A limited stock of pet goods like beds and pet-proof carpeting are already available at most Lowe’s stores.
For Petco, the move is a way of graduating from its pet-only exclusivity. Petco chief merchandising officer Nick Konat told CNBC he expects the shops will especially resonate with DIY-inclined millennials.
“They’re a high-spend customer, and they really take care of their pet like their family,” he said. “And they’ve also been doing the same with their home, with a lot of them being new homeowners or new renters.”
WHAT CAN SHOPPERS EXPECT?
And while Lowe’s stores have allowed customers to shop in-store with pets for years, this new program aims to amplify that open-door experience. Lowe’s + Petco locations will offer a curated assortment of pet nutrition, health and wellness supplies and services, and the store-in-store scenario is also expected to offer a selection of Petco’s pet services, including Vetco vaccination clinics, microchipping, prescription pest prevention and mobile grooming.
Locations, which are estimated to be about 1,000 square feet in size, can be found at the front of Lowe’s stores, and shops will be staffed by both Petco and Lowe’s employees.
Will it be successful? Other retailers have had luck with the partnership concept in the past, CNBC reports. Many Target stores across the country feature specially curated Ulta Beauty shops, and Kohl’s offers a Sephora counter in locations nationwide. During the holidays, many Macy’s store rolled out Toys R Us pop-up shops as well.