Retailers Forecast Their Fortunes
With 2018 in full swing, pet product retailers share their expectations for the year
ahead and predict which pet categories are likely to grow or decline.
Arecent comprehensive study from Pet Product News (PPN) has revealed that pet specialty retailers’ prognosis for 2018 is a good one despite the many ongoing challenges their businesses face in today’s market.
Of course, the independent pet retail channel didn’t wrap up 2017 without its problems. Until the very end, retailers maintained gripes about legitimate concerns such as
the effects of predatory online pricing on their business and their desire to see more
pet product manufacturers hold fast to minimum advertising price (MAP) policies.
Still, retailers have high hopes for the year ahead, according to the results of PPN’s
State of the Industry survey.
The survey—conducted in 2017 by nationally recognized independent research
company Readex Research—took the pulse of pet product retailers across the na-
tion. Respondents included mostly independent and chain/franchise pet shops and
aquarium shops, grooming businesses that sell pet supplies, and veterinary clinics,
pet sitters, trainers and other pet service providers that sell pet supplies. A small
percentage—about 15 percent—of the survey’s overall responses came from farm/
Among the survey’s main objectives was to prompt respondents to forecast not
only whether their overall sales are likely to grow, stay flat or decline in 2018, but also
to predict which product areas would thrive or falter in the current year.
The retailers’ responses suggest that this should be a great year for premium pet
food sales and the growth of pet-related services, as nearly none of the respondents
expected to see any sales decline in food and relatively few thought revenue from
services would take a turn downward. On the other hand, retailers that sell live animals are continuing to see a decline in those sales, suggesting that pet adoption and
sales by private breeders will become the primary avenues that people will take to
find new pets.
The following charts, excerpted from Pet Product News’ State ofthe Industry survey, which first appeared in PPN’s 2018 State of the Industry Report & Annual Buying
Guide, flesh out some of the finer nuances of the results.
WHAT WAS YOUR GROSS SALES VOLUME IN 2016?
GROSS SALES VOLUME
OF RESPONDENTS 5% 15% 10% 20%
$1 million or more
$500,000 - $999,999
$250,000 - $499,999
$50,000 - $99,999
Less than $50,000
$100,000 - $249,999