Marketing; Institute for Retailing Excellence

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This case details a PetSmart’s struggle to find a sustainable strategy. It was started as a “big box” pet specialty category killer store in 1986. It went public in 1993 and rapidly expanded through acquisition. It focused on product variety and price which put it in direct competition with mass merchants, especially discounters and wholesale clubs. Loses in the 1990s led the company to hire Philip Francis to turn the operation around. As a result of restructuring dictated by Mr. Francis, PetSmart became profitable. Its supply chain was improved by adding distribution centers, standardizing and down-sizing stores, improving product quality, increasing services offered, moving away from a low price orientation, and developing a customer and pet friendly in-store experience. Robert Moran took over leadership of PetSmart in 2009. His emphasis has been on realizing the humanization of pets as members of the family, focusing on PetSmart’s target market, increasing store productivity, and adding new stores more slowly.



Published in

Journal of the Academy of Business Education

Citation/Other Information

Brennan, D. (2013). Case Study: PetSmart Searches for a Sustainable Strategy. Journal of the Academy of Business Education, 14, 117-132.

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Marketing Commons