Pet products offer a big growth opportunity for both human consumer products manufacturers and retailers in all channels of distribution
Consumer Expenditure Survey
(CES) data (1994, 1999, and 2004). While some of this growth is the result of an increase in the number of upper income households, it also signifies the success of marketers in tapping into pet owners' desire to pamper their pets by providing them with the best products available.
Among the most important premium pet product demographics are couples without children as they are more likely to purchase more expensive pet products and services because of the attention
Many of these consumers are taking their pets to work and on trips. Pet owner surveys conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association indicate that more than two-thirds (67 percent) of pet owners travel with their pet, while 43 percent have taken their dogs to work, 42 percent have traveled out of state with their pets, 40 percent take their pets on errands, and 37 percent bring their pets to work once a month. Supporting this trend is the surge of pet carriers, leashes designed for hands-free dog-walking while jogging, pet backpacks for use on bicycles and scooters, strollers for young and senior pets, and apparel and accessories designed to protect pets from the elements.
Sales of pet products via the Internet are growing significantly faster than through any other channel, Packaged Facts estimates, with sales forecast to approach $1 billion by 2010. On the brick-and-mortar front, PetSmart and Petco had approximately 1,550 stores in operation and estimated sales of $5.4 billion at the end of 2006, with expansion plans for at least 100 new store openings a year going forward. In addition to focusing on high-margin services, both chains now are beginning to emphasize pricier, boutique-style fare including travel and convenience products.
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