Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Big Guys: A look at big box stores in the pet industry

When it comes to purchasing pet products it’s easy to step into a big box store like Petsmart or Petco, because, like it or not, they are convenient. Big stores are able to carry a variety of products and provide these products at a reasonably low cost. It is easy to find coupons for these stores, and both Petsmart and Petco offer their version of a rewards card—a free card where you essentially sell the company your personal information and allow them to track your spending habits in exchange you receive discounts on items that may otherwise not be on sale. The draw back to these big box stores is not a lack of variety, but instead a lack of personalized attention and the inability to carry products from companies that pride themselves on an intimate relationship with clients. Many of the natural foods and treats I have blogged about in the past such as, Dr. Wysong, California Naturals, Dr. Harvey, Fromm, Nature’s Variety, etc. are not available at these stores. Some of these companies explain why this is on their websites, usually sighting a desire to have an intimate relationship with their retailers and/or a commitment to supporting small businesses.

Both Petco and Petsmart have websites, here clients can order items for their pets from the convenience of their home, and often will be able to find internet promotions. I usually search for coupon codes before placing any online order, but both of these companies also offer promotions on their website—think free shipping on orders over $75, etc. Personally, I have browsed both companies’ websites on numerous occasions, but never ordered from them. If I need something from either store I usually just hop in the car and drive to the actual store, but this is a luxury those in rural areas may not have. A fairly new source for online pet shopping is Pet Food Direct.com, this company offers almost all of the same foods Petsmart and Petco offer, but also carry the harder to find high quality or holistic foods the big box stores lack. When browsing Pet Food Direct’s website I was pleasantly surprised at the large variety of foods they offer, and the relatively low prices on such foods. In the same way Petsmart and Petco are able to have low prices by selling volume, Pet Food Direct does the same. I personally have never ordered from Pet Food Direct, but I have heard nothing but rave reviews from friends who have. This is a great resource for quality food for those who don’t have time or lack access to a store selling high quality holistic foods. A simple search in Google turned up numerous coupon codes for Pet Food Direct, but the best code I’ve found did not show up with an online search—a radio listener discount, “turtle” applied at checkout in the coupon code or promotion box, takes 20 percent off your order. If you’re anything like me, you probably buy the largest bag of dry food possible, and wet food by the case to save money in the long run… with a large order like this 20 percent off will go a very long way.

No comments:

Post a Comment