Petco Opens Two-Story Flagship in New York

Petco Union Square combines the best of the retailer’s physical and digital offerings, including a grooming salon, full-service veterinary hospital, curated merchandise assortment and JustFoodForDogs in-store kitchen.
Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Petco Health and Wellness Co. has opened another flagship store in New York, this one located in Manhattan’s historic Union Square neighborhood. The store was designed to serve as a unique one-stop health and wellness destination for pets, according to a media release from the retailer.

Store Design

Spanning 25,000 square feet and two stories, Petco Union Square was inspired by “lush green spaces revered by locals,” according to the release. The space combines classic New York design and architectural elements from various neighborhoods with trees and greenery that mimic Union Square Park to exude a “familiar” and “intimate” experience. Petco leveraged the look and feel of the park and an open-air farmer's market inside the landmark Tammany Hall building, which features exposed brick, herringbone wood floors and fixtures made with reclaimed materials.

Store Offerings

Petco says the pet care center combines the best of the retailer’s physical and digital offerings, experiences, products and services, including:

  • "17th & Bark." This curated collection of premium goods for pets is unique to this Petco location, named after the flagship's cross-streets and inspired by the Union Square farmers market. Vendors represent the diverse community of pet lovers from New York and across the U.S., including members of the local LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, women and maker and builder communities. The collection features Los Angeles-based T-shirt company Hiro Clark's first pet collection, pet and pet parent apparel from Andrea Caceres, pet portraits from Ben Lenovitz and pet accessories from Lambwolf Collective, among other companies/artists.
  • "Ruff's Barker Shop." Inspired by classic barbershops, the dog salon offers premium grooming services as well as a self-wash station.
  • Reddy Shop. Modeled after Petco’s Reddy flagship in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, this full-scale shop-in-shop showcases the retailer’s private-label brand Reddy, complete with a lounge area, fitting station and “customization zone” where shoppers can personalize items from Petco Union Square's entire assortment.
  • Dog Training and Indoor Park. Pets can practice Petco’s positive reinforcement-based training methods designed to support their social, mental and physical health with Petco's certified trainers at an indoor dog training park.
  • Vetco Total Care. This full-service veterinary hospital offers services including wellness exams, vaccinations, microchipping, dental care, dermatology and surgeries.
  • Curated Merchandise Assortment. Offerings span designated companion animal and nutrition areas, a "Healthy Habits Hub,” dedicated dog and cat sections and a variety of other nutrition and supplies to support pets' whole health, as well as buy online, pick-up in-store self-serve lockers.
  • Petco Love Adoptions. The location will offer year-round cat adoptions as well as other adoption events with local animal welfare partners of Petco Love. An on-site photo booth allows pet parents to capture the moment they welcome a new pet into their family.

Another notable feature of Petco Union Square is the JustFoodForDogs Kitchen,an in-store gourmet kitchen offering human-grade pet meals, formulated by veterinarians and made with fresh, whole food ingredients.

Like JustFoodForDogs' 12 standalone kitchens across the country, the new Petco kitchen has in-house cooks hand-preparing dog food recipes in small batches. Petco staff and nutritional consultants from JustFoodForDogs will be on-site to guide pet parents in selecting the best options that will suit their pet's nutritional needs.

Petco and fresh dog food brand JustFoodForDogs have been close partners since Petco became the exclusive brick-and-mortar retailer of the brand in 2018. In 2022, the partners expanded the relationship by launching the brand at more stores and co-developing a human-grade fresh and frozen private label pet food formula for Petco’s WholeHearted line.

[Also Read: Evolving Pet Retail Concepts]

Grand Opening Celebrations
Over the first weekend in June, Petco hosted a grand opening celebration and adoption event in partnership with Petco Love (the retailer’s nonprofit organization formerly dubbed The Petco Foundation) that included free in-store educational sessions, cooking demos at the JustFoodForDogs Kitchen, training workshops at the Reddy Dog Park (a New York City-themed agility course), photo opportunities, giveaways and adoptable pets from more than 20 local animal welfare partners.

"We're delighted to welcome pets and pet parents to this revolutionary flagship experience that embodies Petco's fully integrated, omnichannel pet health and wellness ecosystem within a single pet care center," Justin Tichy, chief operating officer at Petco, said in the release. "It’s distinctly New York design coupled with Petco's highly differentiated pet care offering brings to life the humanization and premiumization trends shaping the pet space in a way no one else can replicate.”

Additionally, Petco hosted a fashion show, presented by BOBS from Skechers, featuring adoptable pets. To help raise awareness for Petco Love, local artist Andrea Caceres, who is also featured in the flagship's "17th & Bark" collection, was on-site designing a custom mural that was displayed at the event.

As part of the grand opening, Petco also unveiled reimagined, modern versions of its Ruff & Mews mascots with a takeover of the brand's social channels and surprise New York pop-up appearances at city attractions.

In addition, Petco Love will return to the Union Square flagship on June 17 to host a kitten adoption event.

The flagship is a planned relocation of Petco's previous Union Square pet care center, which has been open at 860 Broadway since 1996 and closed on May 30. The new Petco Union Square is located at 44 Union Square on the corner of 17th and Park.