Pets are a Profitable Priority for MULO Brands

BOOM: Pets are a Profitable Priority for MULO Brands

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Consumers are spending on their “fur babies” these days in record numbers! Viewed as members of many families, dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and even rabbits and snakes compel shoppers to take out their wallets to feed, tend to, and even dress their beloved animals. The market size for the the pets care segment was about $235 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from $247 billion this year to $368 billion by 2030, according to this report.

Among the pets categories of products and services consumed by humans for this huge population of animals are:

  • Food and supplements (including those containing CBD)
  • New technologies, like cameras, GPS trackers, DNA tests, motion sensors, and microchips
  • Accessories, like furniture and feeders
  • Grooming
  • Boarding
  • Health care and insurance

Despite the rise of online pet care brands like Chewy, many people still visit brick-and-mortar MULO (multi-location) pet-related retailers. Among the brands are:

In addition to these big three that are pet superstores (offering a wide range of products and services), other types of MULO businesses are springing up to serve the community of pet owners.

Like other retail brands, pet stores are offering a combination of online and in-person shopping and featuring curbside pick-up for customer convenience. Just as parents don’t necessarily want to take their kids out of car seats to shop, pet owners appreciate the “grab and go” nature of this feature.

Doggy daycare is as important to pet owners as childcare is to parents. As a result, the equivalent of 4-star hotels and play places are sprouting up in malls and other locations. They include companies like:

  • Camp Bow Wow: Founded in 2000, the company has been franchising since 2003 and now has 202 locations.
  • Dogtopia: The brand has about 240 locations and, like many other pooch day care centers, appeals to corporate employees who can’t work remotely or who travel often.
  • Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming: With about 200 locations, this brand goes head-to-head (or paw-to-paw) against the big box brands, focusing on “spa-like care” and nutrition for dogs.

Many hotels and restaurants are now pet-friendly, so owners don’t necessarily need to leave their precious dogs and cats at home when they travel.

Just as humans can get medical care at MULO storefronts, the veterinary care category is emerging. For example, PetWell clinic (a franchise) has about 150 locations. Other brands include Easyvet Clinic, Bingle Vet Clinics, and VetCheck Pet Urgent Care Center.

But lest our winged friends get jealous of all the attention being paid to furry animals, keep in mind that Wild Birds Unlimited has about 350 locations.

With about 471 million pet dogs, 370 million cats, and 250 million pet birds worldwide,  the need for necessities and treats is not likely to wane any time soon. Gen Z and Millennial pet ownership is also a big factor in growth rates.

MULO and omnichannel brands are wagging their tails, purring, and chirping at the prospects for expansion and prosperity.

Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.