49 February 2018 Pet Product News International
THE PRICE IS RIGHT
Customers generally tend to fall into two categories when it comes to
price point, according to pet specialty retailers. Either they’re looking
for a cheaper option for smaller mammals, or they’re at a higher price
point looking for a larger, premium enclosure.
“It depends on the customer,” said Kelly Parsons, manager of Den-
ny’s Pet World in Kirkland, Wash. “Some don’t pay any attention to the
cost. They want the biggest and best. If it’s too cheap, they get worried
that it’s not good.”
For larger animals, such as bunnies and guinea pigs, she keeps her
selection in the $60 to $90 range, where she doesn’t have any trouble
selling the cages, she said. But she does stock enclosures up to $150,
she added, and there definitely is a market for those.
Customer behavior will likely vary by market, however, and some
retailers reported different ranges. Those seeking smaller habitats
don’t want to go over $25 to $30, said Linus McKibbin, owner of Pettin
Place in Reno, Nev., but those looking for larger enclosures will spend
anywhere between $60 and $120.
Competition in the small mammal category is stiff, however, and
often, retailers don’t see much margin in cages and enclosures.
“A lot of times, Walmart beats us,” said Caroline Janczak, co-owner
of Critters Pet Shop in South Elgin, Ill. “However, they don’t have
the larger enclosures. I try to carry larger cages. That’s what we
ARGINS & PRICE POINT
“Unfortunately, we’re in an area where Amazon is extremely popular. They’re
headquartered here. We have to be really careful. I try to sell ones that they
don’t have at ridiculous prices. They sell [enclosures] sometimes for less
than we pay because they’ll chase a third-party seller to the bottom. That’s
hard, because we take up all our floor space, and we explain everything to
customers. It’s a little frustrating. It just makes us a little more careful of what
we buy, because stocking something that they’re selling for less than we pay
is really not worth our time.”—KELLY PARSONS, manager of Denny’s Pet
World in Kirkland, Wash.
“People want nice stuff. And I’m going to be honest; they’re
going online. … People in their 20s and 30s … they buy everything online. We’re actually looking into the idea of branching
out into online sales a little bit.”—CAROLINE JANCZAK,
co-owner of Critters Pet Shop in South Elgin, Ill.
“Competition is minimal [from internet and big-box retailers].
The hit is worse in dog and cat supplies.”—LINUS MCKIBBIN,
owner of Pettin Place in Reno, Nev.
“They don’t sell, because [big-box stores] sell them. My inventory is low
versus what I want to sell. We stock only what we need on a week-to-week
basis.”—KIMBERLY A. MORGAN, owner of Reedley Feed & Pet in Reedley, Calif.
How have competitive pressures from internet and big-box retailers
affected the market for small mammal housing?