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Brief Published: 5 Jun 2019

Shops for Doting Pet Parents


Pet owners are tending to their animals’ wellbeing ever more scrupulously – spending $125bn a year globally (Euromonitor, 2019), a 31% increase since 2013 – as we outline in Humanising Animal Care: Pet Expo 2019. A wave of retailers is responding to the opportunity by seducing devoted pet parents with in-store attractions and services.

  • Cleaner Eating for Canines: At Petco’s new kitchen situated in its NYC flagship store, cooks prepare dog food using human-grade ingredients. Fresh meal brand JustFoodForDogs, whose products are stocked in select Petco stores, runs the operation, the first of several planned for key Petco locations. The initiative supports Petco’s recent ban on products with artificial ingredients and is meant to give vigilant dog owners “full transparency” into meals, according to the San Diego-based retailer. 

  • Riding the Medi-Retail Boom: As detailed in our Medi-Retail report, retailers are increasingly adding convenient healthcare services to bring shoppers into stores – an opportunity that encompasses pets too: veterinary care is now the fastest-growing sector of the pet industry (APPA, 2019). Walmart is integrating basic vet clinics into 100 of its US stores, which it’s promoting under the banner of affordability (it claims its services are 40% to 60% cheaper than those typically available). Walmart has also launched an online pet pharmacy
  • Edutainment Villages: British retailer Pets at Home has opened two “store of the future” locations, described as “pet villages” where owners can “shop, learn and pamper”. These hubs include dog-washing stations, a cat adoption lounge, pet care classes and a nutrition advisor. Owners of specific breeds can also connect at monthly socials. Similarly, Petco opened a service-led store last year that incorporates vet care, training and day care.

See also Prestige Pets: Monetising the ‘Mirror Me’ Phenomenon in Retail’s New Prestige Players in The New Rules of Luxury