A company that made an online shopping portal that people could use to order things online has gone bust.
The company was acquired by a Chinese internet conglomerate, China Mobile, for $1.3 billion.
It has since gone bankrupt.
The collapse of PetCo was part of a broader market meltdown that saw retailers, including some of the country’s biggest, slash their margins and lose customers.
The price of pet supplies and grooming products was also hit, as consumers increasingly went online to buy their own pets.
The decline in sales at pet shops has hit the industry, which is struggling to survive amid competition from China’s burgeoning online shopping industry.
Its collapse comes at a time when many are worried about the impact of a slowdown in the economy, as well as a crackdown by Beijing on corruption.
“Pet supplies have really been a big part of the growth of the Chinese economy, especially online shopping,” said Scott McLeod, chief executive officer of Petco.
“So the PetCo closure has been a bit of a shock, but it is a natural and inevitable part of growth in the China market.”
PetCo was established in 2015 as a platform for people to buy and sell their pets online, but many pet stores shut down as the business struggled to keep up with demand.
Its parent company, PetCo Holdings, sold PetCo to China Mobile in a deal worth $1 billion in August 2017.
PetCo Holdings said on Monday it was still in the process of reorganising its business, including restructuring its business in China, but the company said it had no immediate plans to lay off staff.
The retailer said it expected to report third-quarter profit of $6.6 million.
The move came amid signs of a tightening of the reins over China’s online shopping market.
China has seen a string of scandals involving online shopping and bribery, and there have been protests in major cities over corruption allegations.
Petco said its sales had been “strong and growing” in the third quarter, but that sales in the United States, Australia and New Zealand had also been “weak”.
Petco chief executive Doug Tinsley said the company was taking the “long view” in how it planned to manage its business and had a “fairly robust” long-term plan.
Pet co chief financial officer Andrew Clements said the decision to close PetCo in Australia was based on “the realities of business and the challenges facing us”.
“We’ve had to take tough decisions in the past and we’re making the same decisions again, but we know it’s the right thing to do,” Mr Clements told ABC Radio Melbourne.
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