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Petsmart woos customers with return policy

The pet retail giant, which owns 48 percent of online counterpart Petsmart.com, announces a marketing program that lets shoppers return goods from any store, online or off.

Petsmart announced today a marketing program that lets shoppers return goods from any store, online or off.

The nation's top pet retailer, which owns about 48 percent of its online counterpart Petsmart.com, said its universal return program offers customers full refunds for pet food and supplies purchased at any of Petsmart's 490 stores nationwide, Petsmart.com or any other store, Web site or catalog.

"We are the first retailer to put a return policy in place that allows consumers who purchase merchandise from any pet-related retail channel to bring it back to us for a full refund, exchange or store credit," said Phil Francis, chief executive of Petsmart.

The marketing program serves to highlight Petsmart.com's connection to big-name stores across the country, while setting it apart from a growing list of competitors in the online pet market. To date, the online rivals have struggled to differentiate themselves. As a result, Pets.com drew little attention on the public market last Friday, when it traded as high see story: Online pet stores throw shoppers a 
bone $14 and then fell to its offering price of $11.

Earlier this month, Pasadena, Calif.-based Petsmart.com filed to raise as much as $115 million in an initial stock offering.

Through today's program, shoppers have 30 days from the time of purchase to return a product with its original receipt at Petsmart locations. Without a receipt, customers can get a merchandise credit for Petsmart goods.