Year in Review: Retail


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Chewy launches pharmacy
In July, announced the launch of Chewy Pharmacy, a full service online pharmacy for pet owners to shop for prescription medications as well as receive helpful information about pet care, health and wellness from certified and licensed pharmacists, according to Pet Product News. Last year pet medicine and vaccines made up a $15 billion market. According to TD Ameritrade’s study “Millennials and Their Fur Babies,” millennials, who make up the majority of pet owners expect to spend more on their pets’ health care than their own. With the launch of Chewy Pharmacy, pet owners have convenient access to a wide assortment of prescription products from reputable brands at low prices, according to company officials.

Petco launches new store concept
Petco announced the launch of PetCoach, what the retail company is calling the “first-of-its-kind” pet care store concept that offers a whole new way for pet parents to provide complete care for their pets. Now open in San Marcos, Calif., PetCoach offers personalized pet services, products and experiences – all designed through a veterinary lens – to address total pet health and wellness, Petco said in a release.

“Pet parents tell us they want expert advice they can trust and easy, seamless access to everything they need to take the best possible care of the pets they love,” said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin, who took the helm on June 18. “With PetCoach, we’re reinventing the idea of a traditional ‘pet store’ by providing complete care experiences – from grooming, training and day care to full-service veterinary care – that simply can’t be delivered by mail or by a mass retailer.”

Pet food trending digital
According to Packaged Facts research, in 2013, 6.2 percent of pet food sales were made online. In 2017, the number was 16.2 percent. When the research firm asked pet owners whether they were buying pet products online more than they used to, 6 percent responded that they strongly agreed with that question in 2012. In 2017, it was 20 percent.

Packaged Facts estimates overall pet food sales increased almost 6 percent and topped $26 billion in 2017. The market is forecast to continue on a respectable growth trajectory annually through 2022.

“Much of the growth in the pet food market can be attributed to the rapid acceleration of online sales, particularly with behemoths Amazon and Internet sales of pet products are outpacing and even stealing sales from other channels, notably pet super stores, tying in to millennials becoming the key pet market consumers,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “But the internet isn’t simply robbing Peter to pay Paul, nor does this omnichannel era mean that it’s all about the internet. There are other, perhaps even at times, under the radar developments that are driving pet food growth.”