Multibillion-Dollar Growth in Pet Channel

In the United States, 65% of households own at least one pet, and total pet industry expenditures totaled $66.75 billion USD in 2016. The American Pet Products Association is predicting almost a $3 billion increase in spending for 2017, continuing the two-decade-long growth trend.

Not surprisingly, this steady increase in consumer spending has been fueling the growth of major U.S. pet retailers:

·      This month alone (October 2017), Petco will open 10 new stores across the United States, along with two store re-openings. This major retailer now operates more than 1,500 locations.

·      PetSmart opened 15 new U.S. stores in the first fiscal quarter of this year (ending May 1, 2017). That’s on top of the 70 new stores PetSmart opened in 2016, bringing their store count up to 1,542.

·      In addition, PetSmart recently expanded its collaboration with Deliv (a delivery company), so consumers can now receive same-day delivery for online orders in 33 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

·      Pet Supplies Plus, the largest franchise chain in the U.S. pet segment, continues to expand, now approaching 400 stores across the country.

·      Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket merged last year to create the third largest pet specialty retailer. The combined business, named Pet Retail Brands, is the largest small-format, neighborhood pet specialty retailer in North America. Pet Supermarket now has 200 stores in the Southeastern U.S., and Pet Valu has 350 stores in the Northeastern U.S. Add in the company’s Canadian locations and their store count exceeds 930 doors, generating about $1 billion in retail sales.

·      The “farm & feed” retail channel also has been experiencing growth in the pet category. One of the most attention-getting moves in this sector was the fall 2016 acquisition of Petsense (a 136-store chain) by retail giant Tractor Supply Company, which is the largest farm & feed retailer in the United States with 1617 stores.

Sue Elliott