Friday, May 1, 2009

Fetch Pet Care franchise pet sitting in alliance with Petco

Read about it here. This is a test program in California and Seattle (two cities dear to my heart). Petco has teamed up with Fetch Pet Care, which is a pet sitting franchise operation. 

Some independent pet sitters are up in arms, and there is a protest petition on the Petition Site, if you would like to add your voice: http://bit.ly/b41q6.

New pet sitters wonder about whether to start their own business, buy an existing one, or buy a franchise. New franchisees have to build up their business from scratch just like the rest of us, but it won't be a level playing field.

Petco has a huge marketing and advertising budget, which may be a good reason to buy a Fetch franchise. Of course, the franchise owners have to contribute to the advertising cost. I wonder if they have a choice. Maybe not- and it could be a hefty price. Back in my days in the retail advertising business, every inch of the print ads , every second of TV and radio commercials– suppliers paid for all of it on a co-op basis. The retailer bills the supplier, or takes it out of the cost of goods. This advertising deal could be worth millions of dollars to Petco, and the 1800 Fetch franchisees get to pay for it. 

Think of McDonalds. You get a complete business package and the huge power of national media advertising. Your business could grow enormously. But you have to follow the parent company's rules, and pay them a portion of your income. You lose some control. 

The real difference is small business vs. big business. Which do you want to be?

This is a good move for Fetch; I'm not so sure for Petco. Service is everything in the pet sitting business, and a franchise or independent will make it or not because of service quality, not advertising. There are so many human and animal variables, insurance and liability issues. I wonder how Petco will cope with all this?

I haven't decided how I feel about this alliance. What do you think? 

4 comments:

Fetch! Pet Care, Inc. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fetch! Pet Care, Inc. said...

We are so excited about this partnership because it not only will allow us to reach a larger population and educate the pet owner population about reliable pet care, but it will provide Petco with a quality partner in the private pet sitter category.

Unfortunately, in the past Petco didn't have a quality partnership with pet sitters and customers might not be aware that private pet sitting is an option.

As all pet sitters know, not every animal does well in a boarding kennel or day care facility situation and this will give those pets greater access to quality care.

At Fetch Pet Care, we are all about the love of pets and quality care. If any of your readers would like to contact us, we would be happy to speak with you.

If you are an independent pet sitter and want to get involved with us there are many options:
1. Join our network of franchisees.
2. Contact your local Fetch office and become a pet sitter.
3. Refer someone who would be a good pet sitter, franchisee or client. We have a wonderful referral program.

We surely aren't the "big" guys trying to take over the industry. We believe there is room for everyone and that what is important is quality pet care and that animals are cared for and secure.

For the pets,
Fetch! Pet Care, Inc.

Anonymous said...

In response to Fetch's comment:

Unfortunately, in the past Petco didn't have a quality partnership with pet sitters and customers might not be aware that private pet sitting is an option.

Petco didn't ALLOW any partnerships with pet sitting services in the past. It was against their corporate policy. They wouldn't allow private pet sitters to post any promotional materials in Petco stores at all. Only lost & found pets & non-profits were allowed. Now Petco breaks their own rule, and excludes all other pet sitters, so they can presumable get some $ from Fetch!

Anonymous said...

This is about the giving all pets what they deserve..there is more business there than anyone can handle. More power to them and serving our beloved pets. If you provide great pet care.. it shouldn't affect you. Those that feel threatened, are the ones not concerned about pets, and not providing quality care.
Which is what it comes down to.