The decades of economic prosperity in Spain have led to an increase both in the number of pets and the percentage expenditure allocated to pets, receiving increasing care and attention. The new social and family models have been associated with a growing presence of pets in homes and an increasingly important role of pets as part of the family and for seniors living alone. In Spain there is a new and growing perception of the therapeutic and health benefits of animals and of their positive role in society.
The new and growing perception of therapeutic and health benefits of animals and their positive role in society favors the continual appearance of new products and services. These new solutions will become accessible by the increasing innovations by manufacturers, marketing and communication efforts and new product launches that produce changes in the sector’s traditional business models.
At present, there are 5,400 points of sale in Spain of products and services for pets, including both pet shops (approx. 3,000) and veterinary health centres with a shop (2,400).
The pet shop model is changing - and must change even more in the future – towards increased professionalization, differentiation and innovation. It must seek to satisfy growing needs from the end customer if it does not want to lose value.
Furthermore, animal nutrition, which until relatively recently constituted a major part of the store sales and profitability, is being affected by squeezed margins. Buyers seem to be gradually moving towards the department stores and hypermarkets merchandise channel. Animal sales are also falling due to stricter laws placed on the owners of animals. As a result, shops must diversify their products as much as possible and include new services that offer added value and differentiate them from other shops. This situation is forcing retailers to move away from their traditional business model as it is becoming obsolete.
By Antonia Breton