At first glance it might not seem like much — in fact you might not even notice it. Phoenix-based PetsMart changed the look of its name Thursday to PetSmart.
"It’s small in looks, but it’s monumental as far as where we stand as a business and what we represent," said Bruce Richardson, PetSmart spokesman.
"We started 18 years ago in the Valley and at that time, most people would have considered us more of a ‘mart’," Richardson said. "Today, we’ve evolved. Over the last five years, we’ve been working on a single business model that’s called ‘total lifetime care.’ "
The move comes on the same day that the Fortune 1000 company predicted a lower earnings outlook, citing increased competition and higher fuel prices that are strapping consumers’ pocketbooks. PetSmart said it expects to earn 21 cents a share in the third quarter, down from 24 cents for the same period last year.
Richardson said the name change is the result of an expansion of services and inventory that now includes pet training classes, veterinary care and grooming services, as well as PetsHotels, which offer round-the-clock pet care.
This fall, the company will begin its largest print, television and radio marketing campaign in its history to highlight the name change. The retail giant opens about 100 stores per year and will open 39 new ones in North America this third quarter.
New stores will open with the updated name, while existing ones will be retrofitted as part of an overall improvement plan, Richardson said.
PetSmart operates eight stores across the East Valley.
PetSmart shares fell $3.86, or 14 percent, to close at $24.65 on the Nasdaq stock market Thursday. The shares traded as low as $24.43, below the 52-week low of $25.50 set April 22.