In recent years, three trends have served as the major forces impacting the situation at pet retail: the expansion of the two big-box pet specialty chains, PetSmart and Petco; the growth of mass merchandisers and supercenters, especially Walmart supercenters; and the rise of the Internet. With the end of the Great Recession and its New Normal aftermath of economic sluggishness, pet product retailers have experienced pressures on many fronts. Consumer are educating themselves about the pet products they buy, with label readers seeking out what they perceive to be the safest products and most nutritious foods. At the same time, consumers are demanding value in the products they buy, with the budget-conscious charting out grocery shopping trips beforehand and switching channels and brands to make ends meet or simply save a few dollars.
In the pet retail arena, pet specialty continues to battle it out with mass market retailers, with pet superstores succeeding in growing their customer base over the past five years, but supermarkets and mass merchandisers still in the lead in terms of market penetration. “Premiumization” is still in full force, but after the first major wave of upscaling in the first decade of the 2000s, many pet owners have already traded up and, with the onset of economic instability, scaled back some as well. Packaged Facts' pet owner surveys reveal that between 2010 and 2014, the percentage of consumers who agreed that they were spending less on pet products because of the economy grew from 27% to a high of 35% in 2013, dropping back to 30% in 2014. More alarming for pet product marketers, the percentage of pet owners who disagreed to spending less plummeted from 55% in 2010 to 38% in 2014. Despite consumer hesitance, the pet market's above-average prospects have continued to attract new players, expanding the range of retailers vying for a slice of the pie.
Pet Product Retailing in the U.S.: Channel Competition and Consumer Shopping Trends, 2nd Edition provides retailers and marketers with valuable insight into pet product retail channel trends and consumer shopping patterns across all of the major pet product shopping venues in the U.S., including supermarkets, discount stores, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, pet superstores, other pet chains and independents, Internet, veterinarians, natural supermarkets, dollar stores, agricultural/feed-seed/farm stores, home improvement/garden centers, and closeout stores.
Relying heavily on Packaged Facts' proprietary quarterly consumer surveys, the report provides an in-depth analysis of consumer shopping behavior and attitudes across channels, and puts in context industry-wide developments that impact where pet owners shop. The report also presents trended national consumer survey results from Experian Marketing Services' Simmons surveys. Coverage includes breakouts of pet product sales by retail channel; trended rates of channel usage and loyalty; cross-channel trends including impact of recession and ongoing economic sluggishness; role of channel exclusivity or expansion among major marketers and brands; private-label impact; and the role of premium products in the New Normal economy.
For each major channel, the report provides trended household purchasing and channel-loyalty rates, as well as demographic and psychographic shopper profiles. Extensive on-site research is documented in text and illustrated with photographs of in-store departments, brand selection, and promotions.