It comes as no shock that the humanization of pets is a big business and only getting bigger. People spent $63 billion on their furry companions last year, and 2017 will inevitably boast an even larger sum.
In a clear effort to capitalize on that skyrocketing number, U.S. pet supplies retail giant PetSmart announced on Tuesday that it is acquiring online pet supplies retailer Chewy, for an undisclosed sum. However, Recode cited sources saying the deal is worth $3.35 billion in cash.
And considering this recent customer service story from Chewy, it's in PetSmart's best interests to capitalize on Chewy's stellar customer service reputation: when a customer's cat died and he asked if he could send back the food he ordered, Chewy refunded the money, asked that he simply donate the food to a local shelter and sent bereavement flowers.
"I've never been more impressed with a customer service team," said Brian Caggiano in a note to TheStreet.
Customer loyalty is something that is earned, and it'll be interesting to see how PetSmart integrates Chewy into its existing business, or if the level of personalization Chewy offers for pet owners remains the same.
"Chewy was exceptional in every way - and I've gone out of my way to recommend them to every pet owner I know," Caggiano said. "I sincerely don't think it's a marketing ploy. It's not the cheapest source online for pet supplies -- though it is fair. They just get what it's like to be a pet owner and understand the place pets have in our hearts... and that makes all the difference."
Chewy was founded in 2011 and in five years jumped to almost $1 billion in reported sales.