In May, PetSmart shelled out $3.35 billion dollars to acquire online pet retailer in perhaps the largest ecommerce acquisition ever (surpassing the tab Walmart rang up for the acquisition of last summer). That’s a bold move and a huge price tag for a company that generated $7.55 billion in revenue in 2016, according to Chain Store Guide (as found in the  Discount, Dollar, & Specialty Stores Database).

The acquisition and its effects on the future physical growth of PetSmart will be closely watched.


The company, like its main rival Petco, in store count if not revenue, has been steadily adding to its already enormous North American footprint in recent years. Both retailers added 70+ units last year, and both have surpassed 1,500 stores. In the last four quarters, Petco has opened more than 80 new stores, and announced that 70+ new stores would be the target for fiscal 2017.

Expect PetSmart to try to quickly leverage the acquisition to dramatically enlarge its buy online/pick up in store program, as well as look to reimagine its supply chain to use stores as sources of merchandise for online fulfillment, a trick that so many other retailers are currently trying to master.

As for continued physical expansion in the face of debt from the acquisition and plenty of related logistics to work through, Chain Store Guide projects that the pace will slow to 20-30 new units in the next fiscal year.