Retail

Petco has filed to go public as consumers adopt more pets during the pandemic

Key Points
  • Petco Health and Wellness wants to be publicly traded again, this time on the Nasdaq with the ticker "WOOF."
  • The coronavirus pandemic led to a spike in adoptions this year, driving demand for pet care supplies.
  • Petco's same-store sales have risen 9.6% so far this year, but it reported a net loss attributable to members of $20.3 million for the first 10 months of the year.

In this article

Pedestrians cross a street in front of a Petco Animal Supplies Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.
Angus Mordant | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Petco Health and Wellness has filed an S-1 for an initial public offering as consumer spending on pets rises during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer has not yet shared the number of shares available or the pricing for its IPO. It plans to be listed on the Nasdaq with the ticker "WOOF."

The company noted in its filing that the number of households with pets is expected to increase by 4% this year alone, driven by the pandemic. The jump in owners creates $4 billion in new demand for pet care products.

Chewy, the online business of PetSmart that went public more than a year ago, has seen its shares rise more than 150% so far this year, to a market value of $30.3 billion.

In the 10 months ended Oct. 31, 2020, Petco's net sales rose 9% to $3.58 billion compared with the same time a year ago. Same-store sales have jumped 9.6% so far this year.

Petco is also improving its profitability after reporting net losses in 2018 and 2019. In the first 10 months of 2020, the company reported a net loss attributable to members of just $20.3 million, narrowing its losses compared with the same time a year ago by 77%.

Over the last three years, after its same-store sales turned negative, Petco invested $300 million to modernize its business, including building an e-commerce site and launching a full-service veterinary hospital network.

Petco, which was founded in 1965, was last publicly traded in 2006. Five years ago, the company nearly went public but was instead acquired by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $4.6 billion.

Read the full S-1 filing here.

VIDEO3:1103:11
Petco CEO: Projecting four percent increase in pet adoptions