Petco taps company veteran as chief merchandising officer - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, February 14, 2022

Petco taps company veteran as chief merchandising officer


Dive Brief:

  • Petco said it has a new chief merchandising officer, replacing Nick Konat, who is leaving.

  • Amy College is in the role as of Sunday, "responsible for developing and driving Petco's global merchandising strategy across all categories, visual merchandising and merchandising operations" and is serving on its executive committee, according to a company press release.

  • College joined Petco in 2019 as senior vice president of operations and strategy, and territory general manager and "has played an integral role in Petco's transformation, overseeing a variety of strategic growth initiatives for the company in recent years," per the release. She previously spent more than 20 years in merchandising and category management roles at Best Buy.

Dive Insight:

College is taking on this role as Petco steps up its owned-brand strategy — a tactic increasingly followed by several retailers in various industry segments as a way to offer unique labels and boost margins and probably leveraged most successfully by Target.

In a statement on College's appointment, CEO Ron Coughlin noted the importance of that merchandising approach in the company's ongoing turnaround.

"Throughout Petco's transformation, Amy has played a key role in driving our health and wellness strategy and leading high performing teams," Coughlin said. "As our business continues to evolve, I'm confident she will help Petco deepen the competitive moats around our assortment — including exclusive and owned brands — as we deliver on our mission to improve the lives of pets and pet parents."

In November, when the company reported a 15% year-over-year revenue increase in the third quarter, Petco noted double-digit growth in its owned and exclusive brands. That effort, as seen with the opening of a New York City store dedicated to its Reddy brand, avoids some of the supply chain challenges frustrating other retailers, Coughlin said at the time.

Petco has also turned to wellness and various pet care services as differentiators. Through a recent tie-up with online pet marketplace Rover, Petco customers can access pet boarding, sitting, dog walking and "doggy daycare" via the Petco website. In that arrangement, Rover also educates its customers about Petco's annual Vital Care plan, introduced in 2020, which includes routine vet exams and discounted grooming sessions.


Daphne Howland, Khareem Sudlow