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Petco Maps Out a New Leadership Strategy
Learn how Petco leaders fought to win back market share by delivering a consistent customer experience at each of the company’s 1,100 stores.
From 2005 to 2007, Petco, a national pet specialty retailer, saw its market position slip as competition grew from big box retailers and boutique stores. Petco leaders fought to win back market share by delivering a consistent customer experience at each of the company’s 1,100 stores. To do that, they implemented Leading at Petco — a two-day interactive and immersive session to provide managers with the skills and tools to help their people improve productivity and results.
From its inception in 1965, Petco’s mission has been to deliver quality pet products — food, toys, supplies and medicine. By focusing on customer service, quality, and exclusive and healthy products, the company built a loyal following. But soon retailers such as Walmart and Target began offering the same or similar-quality products at lower prices with the convenience of purchasing during grocery shopping, and Petco was losing sales.The executive team at Petco decided that focusing on winning back customers and building brand loyalty were keys to their long-term success. This became the core of the company’s new strategy. But changing business strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Petco had to ensure every company leader — from corporate executives to line leaders, distribution heads and store managers — was on board with the new direction and what it would take to get there. The new strategy called for more effective leadership, better associate engagement and greater customer engagement to drive profitability and growth. One differentiator with this new strategy was the emphasis on the front line and how the customer experience would set Petco apart from the competition.Since 2007, Petco has worked with Root, a consulting company, to develop ways to engage the entire organization and educate key leader levels — store general managers in particular — on the company’s new direction and the outcomes to drive business success.Petco leaders from different functions began by conducting a culture assessment session with the executive team. This open forum looked at the existing state of the business, identified problems and challenges facing the company and encouraged leaders to discuss how they felt and what they would like to see in the future.
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