Ironically enough, the Petcos around here are kinda yucko, the Petsmarts are much nicer. However, I go to Pet Club (a local Bay Area discount chain) and things are much cheaper than at the Petco & Petsmart (i.e. 1 nutro pouch at Petco/smart = ~50-60 cents. 1 nutro pouch at Pet club = 37 cents, 25 cents when on sale.
I've only been to Petco a few times and I was unimpressed. They didn't have the parts I needed for my turtles filter and something else I was looking for (can't remember). I generally shop at petsmart. It seems like they have a larger selection for all my animals. I also go to pet supplies plus. I actually thoguht they seemed to be more expensive. I know when I was buying dry cat food. They were almost $2.00 more on the big bag. They also were $25.00 more on the new filter I got for my tank.
PetsMart has generally been cheaper and better kept around these parts than Petco. Like Brite, I also do the bulk of my shopping at Pet Club, which is almost unbeatable for prices. They started stocking Wellness, Solid Gold, and Paul Newmans, and I asked them to look into stocking Chicken Soup.
We have Petco and PetSmart here. I also find Petco to be a dirty store and not as much to choose from and quality is poor. Hardly ever go to Petco so don't know how the prices compare. PetSmart is my choice.
Hard to say. If you're looking for nice toys, then Petco. If for cheap everyday stuff, then PetSmart. I prefer Petsmart, their stores are cleaner. If Petco is running a good sale on food, i'll pick it up there... it all depends on what's in your area.
The only thing I've purchased at PetSmart (because it's quite a bit out of the way) is Everclean litter which was almost $4 cheaper per box. But now I use PetCo's bulk litter which is what Barnaby likes.
You don't know how lucky you are!!! I live in Hawaii and we do not have either. All we have are small privately owned pet shops. There is a chain called Pet Discount but I've found them to be just like the other small pet shops. I'm currently trying to find a whole sale store to buy from. I've been doing some research online but have found that the shipping all the way out her cancels out the savings.
I suppose living in paradise has a downside for my babies.