Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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The Profit Potential of Pet Care Investment in premium pet channel can lift center store sales. By Kathleen Furore I f you knew there was an opportunity to tap incremental sales of nearly $5 billion, would you jump at the chance? at's the opportunity open to grocery retailers and mass merchandisers willing to invest in the pet category, according to "Identifying & Captur- ing 'Real Growth' at Retail: e Super Premium Pet Opportunity," a new white paper by e Cambridge Group, based in Chicago. Your chance to land a share of that $5 billion pot requires capturing leaked/lost sales from pet specialty outlets — a task not quite as daunting as it might seem. "Remember that mass and grocery retailers have lost pet sales for a long time due to the lack of awareness among shoppers regarding avail- ability of quality pet food, lack of knowl- edgeable staff to educate shoppers, and lack of quality merchandising programs," the report says. "ese are relatively straightfor- ward opportunities to address, with very clear and real return on investment." "Shoppers are less loyal and trips are frag- menting, so winning those trips is possible," adds Tim Joyce, principal with e Cambridge Group and co-author of the report, noting that other categories don't have as rich a specialty channel from which to draw. "Yes, pet specialty stores are strong competition — but it is not a zero-sum game from a competitive perspective." A Plus for Center Store and Beyond According to data from Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen, dollar growth in the pet care category has been double that of overall center store growth over the past five years. Just as important, the category spurs more store visits than any other category in the total store. On average, 57 percent of pet care category pur- chases trigger a trip to the store. at's true across all generations of shoppers. "is metric alone is a critical indica- tor of real growth opportunity, since categories that are considered trip drivers have greater potential to generate store traffic than other categories," the Cambridge Group report explains. "Shoppers plan their pet care purchases more than any Exclusive Report 94 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | February 2017

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