Why luxury pets are a growing business


People may feel tight on cash, but when it comes to their pets, they’re prepared to spend, and the luxury pet market is incredibly buoyant. Data According to MoneySuperMarket, pet owners in the UK are willing to spend an extra £500 ($620) a year on luxuries for their pets, from designer clothes and luxury beds to toys and gourmet treats. Animals than themselves.

One of the drivers of this trend is the increase in pet ownership, especially dog ​​ownership, during the lockdown. A total of 3.2 million households have acquired a pet in the UK since the outbreak began, he said. Figures UK Pet Food, formerly the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, has created opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to break into this lucrative market.

Katja Shell opened her luxury doggie boutique Eric & Dolly three years ago. Named after her dogs Boston Terrier Eric and English Bull Terrier Dolly, it stocks beautiful dog accessories from the world’s leading brands.

“People enjoy spoiling their dogs because it makes them feel good, and they take care of their pets before treating themselves,” says Schell. “A young customer came in to spend her money on a birthday treat for her dog. People love high-end accessories, coats, harnesses and toys, but for many customers, just buying a small gift for their dog can bring a lot of joy.

Location has been key. The shop is located in the market village of Burnham, Norfolk. Often referred to as Chelsea-on-Sea, it has a unique reputation for its vibrant social life, upmarket businesses and affluent residents. It is a very popular tourist hotspot with dog owners.

Shell left a successful career in recruitment to start her business, which she describes as challenging. She says: “I had never worked in retail, so getting the product right, even learning how to use it, was a steep learning curve, but within six months I knew what my customers wanted. I am very confident around people and their dogs and love interacting with them in the shop. The personal service, such as fitting shields and coats and making great noises on dogs, is a big part of our success.

She also faced a rough start due to the epidemic. The store was ready to open in April 2020 as soon as the lockdown occurred. It finally reopened in June, but it wasn’t until the following year that things returned to normal.

The biggest concern for retailers lately is the cost of living. But not, it seems, for those in the luxury pet industry. “The cost of living has not affected business,” Schell said. “People still want beautiful things that are practical, and buying them for pets makes them feel good. I am not surprised that this market has been so resilient.

With an increasing number of businesses targeting the luxury end of the pet care industry, breaking into the market requires thorough research. Owning a pet presents its challenges, so brands need to understand and solve them, explains Kimberley Howard, culture analyst at cognitive market research agency Verve.

“Exploring the journey of pet ownership with its pain and joy can open up creative possibilities,” she says. “For example, CocoPup is a luxury pet bag brand. Recognizing that dog walkers need to multitask, they’ve created pet pouches that make it easy to carry treat bags, water bottles, leads, etc. in one trip.

It is also important to study the trends in human and baby products. “Pets mean more to people now than they did pre-pandemic; in fact, people are viewing their pets in the same way as children, and even choosing pets over children,” Howard says. You can view emerging trends. Trends tend to follow suit. From natural and organic food to sensory play and conversational games, looking at these parallel areas can help inspire creativity.

Another reason for the growth sector is the influence of social media influencers. Jenny Tsai, founder and CEO of Wearisma, an influencer effectiveness solution, said: “The UK pet market is valued at £5.9 billion and 37% of Brits say they buy products for their dogs based on recommendations on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. , we have seen an increase in the number of “Petfluners”.

“It has also become an important marketing channel for luxury products for pet lines such as Gucci, Celine and Moncler. According to our influencer analysis, by the beginning of 2022 these luxury brands will have a media value of $4.8 million and over 3.1 million impressions from luxury pets on key social channels.” They participated with their collections.

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