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Loyalty Promotions
Both retailers offer a loyalty program; Petco offers Pals Rewards and PetSmart offers PetPerks. Petco’s Pals Rewards program is very simple, yet compelling. Pals Rewards gives shoppers 5% back on every purchase. In addition, Pals Rewards delivers savings through preferred pricing and exclusive discount coupons. PetSmart’s PetPerks program offers benefits, but they aren’t as clearly articulated as the 5% back that Petco offers. PetPerks members enjoy in-store discounts, email alerts on sales of their favorite products, and a free treat on their pet’s birthday. When it comes to in-store marketing, each retailer represented their programs with point-of-purchase signage. Petco clearly promotes the benefits of their loyalty program though end-cap signage as well as tying product sales to Pals Rewards. PetSmart, on the other hand, advertises savings that will be enjoyed from PetPerks, but they don’t articulate the other benefits of their rewards program as clearly as Petco does. In order to create awareness and increased membership, retailers need point-of-purchase advertising that clearly articulates the benefits of the program located strategically throughout the store. While it’s not necessarily a loyalty program, Target’s strategy for promoting their REDcard is an example of best practice for in-store promotion. They place aisle invaders and bold end-cap signage clearly articulating the benefits of the REDcard strategically throughout the store.

Pet Training and Grooming
As I stated earlier, pet training classes and grooming services are a key differentiator that Petco and PetSmart have from grocers and big box retailers. It’s safe to say that pet owners generally know about these services; but how much are they learning from in-store marketing? I was surprised to see that there was a lack of in-store marketing promoting these offers from both Petco and PetSmart. At Petco, if you searched hard enough, you could find small black...
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