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During the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, Meagan Remmes felt a jolt of camaraderie after being on leave from her job and spending long days in a quiet house. She found her answer about two weeks ago in a box posted near her mailbox.
She heard a whimper. Inside, she found a week-old puppy wrapped in a towel.
Your new rescue pup, Locust, is one of many to have joined families Adoptions and care During the pandemic, Americans seek company and find it in pets, from reptiles to cats. As Americans prepare for the holidays, retailers and industry watchers anticipate the pet boom could spur sales of dog treats, cat furniture, ugly animal-sized Christmas sweaters, and other gifts during the holiday season.
According to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte, pet products are expected to be among the top categories for gifts. About half of the more than 4,000 people surveyed by the company said they bought pet food and supplies during the holiday season. On average, they plan to spend $ 90 on pet items, such as gifts for their own dog or a pet belonging to a family member or friend.
About one in four people plan to buy toys, decor, and accessories for pets as gifts. Around 15% of respondents said they received these as gifts.
Walmart said it was ready to sell more than 3 million pet beds. Tough said it will offer gift cards and personalized mugs, blankets and bandanas for the first time this holiday. And PetSmart will be wearing a mix of seasonal clothing – including Bearded Dragon Santa costumes.
Rod Sides, vice chairman of retail and sales at Deloitte, said pet owners need supplies for their new pets. He said historical buying patterns show that pets have priority even when the budget is tight.
“Often times, pets are a pretty recession-proof category,” he said. “People will continue to spend on their pets, as well as their children and families.”
PetSmart has a wide variety of seasonal gifts and costumes for pets, including some for bearded dragons. I just got the permit from them and uploaded it.
Even before the pandemic, spending on animal care was on an upward trend. According to a study by Jefferies, global industry worth $ 131 billion is projected to have an average annual growth rate of 7% over the next five years. The U.S. is the largest market for the pet care industry – a market of roughly $ 53 billion that is expected to reach $ 64 billion over the next four years, the company said.
Steph Wissink, executive director at Jefferies, said some millennials have delayed child birth and treated pets as family members. She said the explosion of new tools is making ownership easier and more convenient for younger and more digitally fluent customers, whether they’re getting automatic grocery deliveries through Chewy or arranging pet sitting through Wag.
Deloitte’s pages said the popularity of sharing videos and photos of pets on social media has increased the need for more toys and accessories. He said pet owners can also buy an ever-expanding range of products, from organic foods and grooming tools to veterinary medicines and insurance.
Wissink said other pandemic trends have strengthened pet ownership. More and more people are buying houses in suburbs or rural areas where they have room for additional animals. When employees work remotely, they can break in a new puppy or take a dog for regular walks.
She said the pet boom will have a lasting impact on the industry, which is not limited to the holiday season.
“A pet is not a temporary investment,” she said. “When you get a pet, it’s a multi-year commitment. You don’t get a pet and it goes away when the Covid vaccine is off.”
Walmart plans to sell over 3 million pet beds and other merchandise like candy-like chews and stuffed toys with Santa designs.
Before the pandemic sparked a wave of adoptions, PetSmart customers were upgrading to quality food and buying more accessories, such as: B. a number of different dog collars, said Stacia Andersen, executive vice president of merchandising and customer experience at PetSmart.
She said these trends have intensified in recent months as many Americans get their first pet, adopt another, or get a special pet like a lizard. She said the pet superstore chain, which has about 1,650 stores in the U.S. and Canada, saw more sales of starter supplies such as kits for a first-time reptile owner.
And she said the Arcadia Trail, its new private line of tents and life jackets for dogs, was hugely popular as pet owners take on more outdoor adventures.
Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy, said the e-commerce pet retailer had increased sales as people buy supplies to welcome new pets like boxes and bowls. People are also buying more toys and goodies, he said.
“Pet parents have more time. We all have more time,” he said. “When you have the time and more people are at home, pets actually become more entertained and engaged.”
Chewy’s shares reflect the possibility of a pandemic. Shares are up more than 141% this year, increasing their market value to $ 28.9 billion.
More and more sales are moving online and Chewy has an advantage there. It is known for its Autoship program, a subscription service that regularly delivers home refills of pet food, cat litter, and more. The program accounts for nearly 70% of Chewy’s net sales.
The company adds new services. The growth in pet adoptions inspired Chewy to accelerate that Start of a telehealth service This allows pet owners to seek advice from a veterinarian about common concerns.
Meanwhile, pet stores PetSmart and Petco picked up their online purchases at their roadside stores this spring. The privately owned companies declined to share their sales numbers but said they had already increased.
Darren MacDonald, chief digital and innovation officer at Petco, said the trend of home renovations has moved into the pet category.
After buying a desk and other furniture, he said, “People went out and freshened their dog beds and supplies of keys.”
In Walmart stores and on its website, pet owners can find vacation items like candy cane dog chews.
Melody Richard, vice president of Walmart Pets, said the pet category “definitely has a seasonal bump”. This year, she said, the retailer saw this as an even bigger opportunity because “there are so many Covid puppies and Covid kittens”.
“We’re already seeing some pet purchases and we’re excited about them,” she said.
target said it has expanded its range of cat scratches available in fun designs like a red gift box with a bow. It has matching red flannel pajamas that come in sizes for cats, dogs, and people.
The retailer estimates that more than 70% of the households that buy its stores have a pet.
Locust is one of those pups who can boost vacation spending this year. Meagan Remmes said that she and her husband plan to shop for their new pup this holiday season and expect Locust to receive gifts from friends and family as well.
Source: Megan Remmes
Remmes, who found her pup near her mailbox in North Carolina, said she was watching Etsy for a toy box for the puppy’s growing collection. She said she could also buy seasonal clothes.
“I’ve definitely thought about including it on the Christmas card,” she said.
Locust has already received ID and other gifts from friends and family – and Remmes suspects the puppy is on her Christmas list too, she said. Her mother-in-law calls regularly to check in with her “grandfather”.
PetSmart’s Anderson said this year giving gifts will be a way to thank pets for comfort during a challenging time. And they added that they are more likely to be avid gift recipients.
“There’s nothing like giving a pet a gift because no one is going to give it back,” she said. “Besides that they might spit it out, you’re in pretty good shape.”