Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Small doggie daycare sues Petco over name

Small independent businesses continue to snarl in frustration as Petco, a major national corporation, moves into their areas. 

First it was the Petco alliance with Fetch Pet Care, a petsitting franchise company, that caused a ruckus. Pet sitting business owners were afraid that Fetch and Petco would compete with big advertising campaigns and run them out of business. So far that hasn't happened, partly because Fetch franchisees are our fellow small business owners. Each business has to survive on the quality of its service, and no amount of backing by big business will save them if the service just isn't there.

Now a dog daycare owner, Oliver Blumgart of Unleashed Doggie DayCare in the Rhode Island/New Hampshire area, is fuming because Unleashed by Petco, a new upscale format pet supply store, has opened nearby, causing customer confusion.

Here's an article about it:

I remember when, years ago, Wickes-owned Builders Emporium, a California based operation, decided to expand and open a store in Las Vegas. BE had to buy out the name of an independent hardware store with the same name that had operated in the area for years.

I am guessing the motivation behind this lawsuit is money. I'm sure Unleashed's owner would accept a couple mil to change his name. But what about all the other Unleashed businesses throughout the US? If you do a google search, you'll find there are many.

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.


Brian Mueller - Fetch! Pet Care of the Capital Area said...

I doubt Mr. Blumgart would win his case in court. He is more likely to settle with Petco for some cash. That's part of the cost of doing business whether it was an intentional infringement by Petco or someone's oversight.
More importantly, I strongly agree with your assessment of business owners' fear of the Petco/Fetch! agreement. It may create some marketing advantages, but none of it will matter (or last) unless Fetch! clients receive exceptional service or value. Also, I appreciate your awareness that Fetch! businesses are "locally owned and operated" small businesses with all the opportunities and challenges that come with entrepreneurship.

Terry Albert said...

I think that a cash settlement is probably what he is hoping for. He's probably the one who will get stuck changing his name, not Petco.

Fetch franchise owners are part of several discussion groups I am on. They don't like being viewed as part of the "big bad corporate monster" Petco, because they really aren't. They paid huge money for that franchise, they might as well get something for their money. I'd be interested to hear if you are required to contribute advertising money to the Petco relationship.

snickdog said...

Blumgart's motion was denied: