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Corporate culture Petco vs Petsmart? The same or different?

Has anyone here worked for both of them?

It seem that Petco is more willing to work with customers to customer order a fish that they normally sell however are out of stock however Petsmart seem they will never order a custom fish and in fact not even their employees are aware of what fish will be arriving on delivery day since its on some kind of automatically refill system.

Just curious if anyone has worked for both companies and see a difference in corporate culture between the two.

Thanks.
 

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Worked in Petco and Petland (NY Tristate thing).

Petco has things more organized than Petsmart. Petland gives you a mom and pops feel and can be better than the other two if aquatic person knows what they're doing.

I was pretty happy helping my customers. Heck, the other day I had a customer call me on my personal phone saying he's sorry he hasn't come as often to speak fish with me and the few times that he did he's never seen me. I was fired nearly a year ago.

Thing is custom orders are better than the usual. We know the fish will be sold unless its DOA or in horrible condition, which is marked DOA anyways. Customers also prefer it cause most expensive fish are packed in their own bag, so they can just pick up the shippers bagged fish and we don't have to handle it. Also few less likely to have something straight from the shipper compared to some time with other stressed fish in systems.

Petsmart DOESN'T allow their fish people to order. This may be different for things such as flagship/high sales stores, but most petsmarts are unable to alter fish orders.
 

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Where I live you, have two major fish stores, pet barn and pet stock and then a small family owned LFS

I have found that the small family owned LFS will order in what you want but at quite a large price and they tend to try to get you in and out rather quickly not wanting to spend much time on each client explaining things.

With the two major fish stores in my experience it all comes down to who the workers are that day, the big chain pet stores try to cover all pet varieties and will hire anyone, here and there they will hire that one fish enthusiast that actually knows what they are talking about.

Talk to the workers and go at different times on different days and suss them out you will soon establish who is the right person to talk to like I have, I simply won't buy anything from the stores unless it's through the worker that I have identified at each as a fish enthusiast as they are passionate and know what they are talking about.

The trick is knowing your questions and answers ask them a question and see if their answer matches yours
That aluminium plant looks good would it do well in a fully submerged aquarium at 29 degrees,
Are these 2 shrimp compatible or will they interbreed
Can I keep this Oscar with my guppies?
I have a pond snail will they multiply fast or are they similar to apple snails.
ect….
 

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As a customer I have found Petco aquatics employees tend to enjoy talking shop while most with some exceptions at petsmart tend to rush you in and out and seldom remember you.
The petco guy in my area not only remembers me but remembers my current tanks and their setups and for the most part what I stock in them.
Best of all if I wish to buy he doesn't start off with the how big is your tank business as he already remembers I have 3 55g and myriad others lol.

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My Petco has people that only work the fish area. I usually have to go get the person cleaning rat cages to chase the fish around the tank at PetSmart.
Same experience.

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Where I live the petsmart is super small and there is always 5 or 6 employees usually 2 in the fish and rodent department. They are super nice and most of the time they know about fish and have time to talk and sometimes let you pick the fish you want which is a nice option. But this is only because it is a low volume store and there is another twice the size 20 minutes away where customers are herded like cattle and I wont go there!

On the other hand the nearest petco to me is about 35 minutes away in a super busy art of town so it ends up being longer but they have TONS more fish and the employees are about the same as the small petsmart. I would rather have a petco close but the small petsmart will do.
 

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The petsmart near me is OK, the people know nothing, but they have an OK selection. Petco is terrible, they have half their tanks dark, and the selection is tiny, as well as having dead fish in a lot of the tanks.
 

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Either one of those will be hit or miss depending on who is working at the store. From a business standpoint, dog and cat supplies dwarfs everything else they sell including fish. Next time your in one of those stores look at the real estate devoted to dogs/cats. You can't blame them, that's where the money is. Dog/Cats are in around 50% of households, while fish are in about 12%. And people spend much more on Rover then they do on Nemo.

Best to visit your LFS.
 

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I've noticed that most Petsmarts are all the same, have a nice selection of bread and butter fish and somewhat knowledgeable. While at Petco it completely depends on who's managing the store and fish room. Some Petcos have an amazing slection of unusual fish and are very knowledgeable, others have a poor selection of half dead fish. Although, i have noticed that Petco in general has picked up its game, focusing more on natural and less on quantity and price, with Petsmart focusing more on lower prices and more quantity.
 

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I have always preferred Petco over Petsmart. Their is this sweet old lady named Melody in the fish section who knows her stuff pretty good and is always nice to talk to!

I'm sure it totally depends on region and store though...
 

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I agree Petsmarts are all the same and the same with all Petcos.. with those both stores in my town alone we have 3 of each. you czan tell which stores are older and which are newer. with the old stores you can see they are revamping every thing and making it all new from what I remember the fish department was the first to get redone. Petsmart employees always suck at least in my area. I was going to get a beautiful look healthy Bolivian ram one he bagged it up and every thing I checked the fish just to make sure it was good and I saw that he hurt the poor fish fin where it had a little blood coming out. I was like no I cant take it you hurt the fish he grabs the bag looks at the fish and said no the fish looks perfectly fine to me.. I was like no im not taking it. he goes rips the bag open and toss the fish back in.. well I don't go there any more.. petco always seems cleaner the tanks cleaner and the fish look healthy also... plus petco employees always seem willing to help and not try to rush you on what your getting or if you want a specific fish out of a tank of 10 or so others lol... but I switch off from the store and also going to my local mom and pops when they have sales since they like to raise their prices when I can get it cheaper at the big box stores and I have all had a good success rate with any of the stores.. it most the times matters on whos wrangling the fish and how it looks inside the tank.

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I have always preferred Petco over Petsmart. Their is this sweet old lady named Melody in the fish section who knows her stuff pretty good and is always nice to talk to!

I'm sure it totally depends on region and store though...
yup true!! my petcos top the petsmarts in my area as in quality, cleanliness, and employees
 

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I don't like either of those two stores. They run a lot of good store out business. They carry very little for inventory and hardly anything special. I don't care what they sell there fish for. They hurt the pet industry. Give me the mom and pop shops any day. I'm lucky because I travel for work and visit lot of shops so I don't need them.
 

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I had a friend who worked at Petco for about a year ,and they let him try new species that he and I thought would sell, and also do well with their water chemistry.
He left for better paying job,and they are back to same old platies,guppies,mollies,goldfish, neon's.meh.
They will however let you order fish from their stock list, and pick em up before they plop em in their tank's.
Petsmart is across the street,and their tank's are cleaner but stock is same old, same old.
One last mom and pop store in town ,and I try to buy from him but his prices for EVERYTHING are hurting him.
He sell's dog's,cat's,reptiles,also, so does not care bean's for what I may express interest in.
He makes more money on the other pet's.
 

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In my experience Petsmart has a little more to choose from, but Petco has a more diverse range of fish. Petsmart tends to take better care of livestock than Petco. Petco has some plants, but theyre always covered with cyanobacteria and algae. Petsmart sells mostly tissue cultures, which are a bit expensive, but acclimate well. I bought crypts from petsmart a year and a half ago and I didn't notice any melt, and they are still doing well in both of my tanks.
I tried twice to order fish from Petco. They had pygmy cories for 99¢ each, I ordered 10, they never called me, and never carried them again. Same thing happened with some harlequins. Petco generally has better prices on the less common fish, but Petsmart sells a better, healthier product. I'm sure experiences for others may vary, but as it applies to planted aquariums, I'd pick Petsmart hands down.
 

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Either one of those will be hit or miss depending on who is working at the store. From a business standpoint, dog and cat supplies dwarfs everything else they sell including fish. Next time your in one of those stores look at the real estate devoted to dogs/cats. You can't blame them, that's where the money is. Dog/Cats are in around 50% of households, while fish are in about 12%. And people spend much more on Rover then they do on Nemo.

Best to visit your LFS.
The business model is based on extensive market research. In their minds the average dog or cat owner actually has a higher % that also has an aquarium. So why not sell them their fish stuff too. But their picture of their typical customer is an aquarist that has casual interest in the hobby and is really busy running after the kids and cleaning up after the dog and cat. Hence the generic Seagrest farms fish, aqueon and Marineland products.

Some of them will be OK and some will be numb-skulls. You can say the same for LFS.

The true holy grail in this hobby has become finding a LFS that's trustworthy and knowledgeable. If you manage to find one, do as Houseofcards suggests and spend your time and money there with the hope that it will actually be there the next time you need them.
 

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Used to work for Petco a few years ago. They really appreciated me, my manager wanted to move me to the aquatics specialist position after only a few months... But my issues with the whole gig overall kept me from accepting. The thing that really bugged me was that my Petco (maybe not all) understaffed at ALL times. So the aquatics person is most likely the only one looking after all the small animals... Lizards and snakes and birds and turtles and fish and hamsters and guinea pigs. So on top of running the sales floor for all sections, I would have constant cleaning and projects going on. The days when my small animals manager worked with me or I had some help in small animals were the best BUT it was never the consistent schedule. My theory was that since we were close to a high functioning Petsmart this might have hit my Petco hard and I came at the wrong time. After visiting other Petco's however makes me think this is a common occurrence. The other thing that held me back was the pay and how the scheduled. They would keep me 1 hour under the full time bracket to keep me from getting higher pay and benefits. Also when they offered to bump me up they said I MIGHT get a .25 cent raise. Outside of that I believe the raise was .7 cents a year...... so needless to say I opted to leave for better pay at other jobs.

Outside of these things I would say I always prefer Petco over Petsmart. We had a say in the ordering which was awesome and I could really help customers out. My Petco had Saltwater too which was a blast and we had great prices on the staple fish. In general it seems that Petco employees are more connected. I know myself and all my fellow employees really walked the walked. We all had pets up the wazoo and were always teaching each other. Plus DOLLAR PER GALLON SALE DUH!

Petco seems to always have more plants in stock. My petco had a 40B just for plants and baby fry and they let me take care of that like it was my own tank. They aren't too lenient on letting you change things around when it comes to planograms though.... We also always rehomed fish for customers that needed to let go of their pets. I remember a few times I had to bag up some ginormous oscars for people. The day to day routine of prepping the animals did get super tedious but when I look back I am grateful that I was forced to do all small animals vs. just aquatics because I got to learn about all of these creatures that I otherwise might not have.

Petco HQ is in California so they follow Cali business rules.

In the line of cats and dogs, Petco stocks Nature's Instinct so that is a huge plus. Maybe Petsmart does too idk.

PETCO TRAINING SYSTEM IS AWESOME! It is reminiscent of old learning computer games with fun graphics and it is just cute haha

My store manager was awesome, my small animals manager was awesome. Just expect to still need to learn cashier responsibilities because they will definitely be calling you to help....

Petco > Petsmart
 

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.

The true holy grail in this hobby has become finding a LFS that's trustworthy and knowledgeable. If you manage to find one, do as Houseofcards suggests and spend your time and money there with the hope that it will actually be there the next time you need them.[/QUOTE]


Well said and so true.
 

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Seagrest farms has a very extensive catalog I would not call generic lol.
But if what you mean is petsmart etc has a corporate policy to ORDER generic fish I concur.

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