BY JENNIFER BONCY
Several pet food manufac- turers pledged their com- mitment to the specialty
channel and trumpeted their
decision to cease selling products on Chewy.com—the major e-commerce site purchased
by PetSmart this spring—at a
gathering of executives from
more than 30 pet specialty retail operations representing
approximately 1,400 stores at
a meeting during SuperZoo at
the Mandalay Bay Convention
Center in Las Vegas on July 24.
Representatives from three
major product manufacturers,
Fromm Family Foods, Champion Petfoods and KLN Family Brands, attended the meeting by invitation from retailers
who have been gathering informally during major trade
shows since last year to discuss common concerns such as
e-commerce pricing practices.
The executives discussed their
decision to pull products from
Chewy.com—a move meant to
give independent pet retailers
a fair shot of competing at a
time when mega-e-commerce
sites are offering consumers
discount pricing that brick-and-mortars cannot hope to match.
Charlie Nelson, president
of KLN Family Brands in Per-ham, Minn., the maker of Nu-triSource, PureVita, Natural
Planet and Tuffy’s brands, said
the company is no stranger to
making tough decisions in favor of its independent retail
partners, having done so in the
past by pulling product from
retailers that Petco purchased.
So when PetSmart announced
its acquisition of Chewy.com,
KLN was quick to respond, he
“Within 24 hours, we made
Companies Pledge Allegiance
our decision,” Nelson said
about the company’s move to
remove its products from the
online seller. “We walked away
from a lot of business.”
He further pledged that
KLN would maintain its
e-commerce pricing at 10 per-
cent above its suggested retail
to Independent Retailers
Manufacturers abandon PetSmart-owned Chewy.com to further support independent
pet specialty retailers.
Michelle Granger of Champion Petfoods
addressed a gathering of independent
pet retailers at SuperZoo.
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