Friday, March 02, 2007

Pet Industry News

PetSmart, Inc., the nations largest retailer of pet supplies, announced 2006 fiscal year results. Net sales in 2006 grew 11% from the previous year, to $4.23 billion. Pet services sales and revenue continue quarterly growth above 20%, generating $376 million in revenue in 2006.

The company will close all 180 State Line Tack departments, exiting the equine business to make room for higher margin pet supplies or PetsHotels.

Earlier this month, PetSmart increased its number of stores in Canada by 58% to 42 with the acquisition of 19 Super Pet stores.

One current advertising campaign directs users to the Nutrition Selector on the website, featuring highly differentiated premium dog and cat foods. Pet food is the largest segment of the industry - American's spend about $14 billion each year on pet food - and a primary driver of the consumer into the store.

Petco, the nation's second largest pet specialty retailer, went private last year but refuses to sit, expanding on services and pampering themes. The company announced a nationwide fashion show marketing campaign, and was reported to be exploring the mobile grooming business in Las Vegas.

Central Garden & Pet, the largest supplier of pet items to PetSmart, Petco, Wal-Mart, Target and many others, has been impacted recently by rising grain prices and Wal-Mart's decision to stop selling live fish. But it continues to innovate and grow across many segments of the industry, winning nine New Product awards at the 2007 Global Pet Expo.

Nestle, the world's largest food company, will open its first pet food factory in China this year as it tries to take a bite out of Mars Inc's Chinese market share. Mars has been in China for 10 years, and sells a lot of Pedigree and Whiskas to the local market through an alliance with a Chinese company, in this case Effem Foods (Beijing) Co. Ltd. Nestle may benefit from newer foreign ownership regulations.


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