Chewy Flies, Then Falls

Chewy (NYSE:CHWY) shares rallied dramatically on Thursday after meme stock leader Roaring Kitty posted a picture on social media platform X that resembles the logo of the online pet food retailer, but the gains were quickly erased later in the session.

Roaring Kitty, whose legal name is Keith Gill, has stirred up trading in speculative names such as GameStop by posting cryptic images and memes online. A picture of a cartoon dog appeared on his X feed Thursday afternoon, briefly driving up Chewy shares as much as 34% to $39.10.

The stock later fell into negative territory again in Thursday’s session, closing the day down 0.3%. It began Friday down $2.48, or 8.5%, to $26.57.

There’s also a strong connection between meme stock GameStop and Chewy. GameStop CEO Ryan Cohen was the founder and CEO of Chewy, who was instrumental in PetSmart’s takeover of Chewy in 2017 and its subsequent initial public offering in 2019.

Cohen joined the GameStop board of directors along with two other Chewy executives in January 2021, partly helping fuel the initial GameStop rally. He later took over as GameStop CEO in 2023, leading a turnaround in the brick-and-mortar video game retailer.

Shares in pet retailers such as Chewy and Petco saw big spikes during the pandemic when stuck-at-home consumers adopted cats and dogs in droves. With the adoptions came purchases of needed accessories such as new beds and leashes for their furry family members.

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