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Pet Product Retailing in the U.S.: Channel Competition and Consumer Shopping Trends, 2nd Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Scope of Report
      • Data Sources and Methodology
      • Competition Remains Fierce in Pet Retail Market
      • Pet Owners Cautious
      • Shopping Around
      • Private-Label Opportunities
    • Channel Usage
      • Pet Product Purchasing Rates by Channel
      • Walmart Tops Recent Shopper List
      • Pet Owners Skew High for Internet-Related Practices
    • Channel Loyalty
      • Two-Thirds of Pet Product Shoppers Are Channel-Loyal
      • Channel Loyalty Is Down Overall
      • Reasons for Shopping Vary by Channel
    • Mass-Market Channels
      • Mass Channels Largest Percentage of Dog or Cat Owners as Pet Product Shoppers
      • Supermarkets
      • Discount Stores, Mass Merchandisers and Supercenters
      • Wholesale Clubs
      • Drugstores/Convenience Stores
    • Pet Specialty Channels
      • A Growing Shopper Base
      • Purchasing Rates by Product Type
      • PetSmart and Petco Continue to Advance in Pet Products and Services
      • Other Pet Specialty Chains
      • Independent Pet Store Trends: An Uphill Battle
    • Internet Channel
      • "Digital Future" Is Here
      • Online Sales of Pet Products Picking Up Speed
      • Online Purchasing Rates
      • Amazon: The Future of Pet Retail?
    • Other Channels
      • Veterinary Channel
      • Natural Supermarket Channel
      • Dollar Store Channel
      • Alternative Channel Options
  • Introduction
    • Scope of Report
    • Competition Remains Fierce in Pet Retail Market
      • Table U.S. Retail Channel Sales of Pet Products by Category: Food vs. Nonfood, 2013-2014 (in billions of dollars and percent change over previous year)
      • Table Share of U.S. Retail Channel Sales of Pet Products Market by Channel Classification, 2014 (percent)
    • Pet Owners Cautious
      • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "I am spending less on pet products because of the economy," 2010-2014 (percent)
      • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "Many pet products are becoming too expensive," 2011-2014 (percent)
    • Shopping Around
      • Table Retail Channel Purchasing Patterns for Pet Products: By Change in Financial Situation of Pet Owners Compared with 12 Months Ago, Summer 2014 (percent)
      • Table Retail Channel Purchasing Indexes for Pet Products: By Change in Financial Situation of Pet Owners Compared with 12 Months Ago, Summer 2014 (index)
    • Coupon Use on the Decline
      • Financial Situation, Income Impact Coupon Usage
        • Table Usage Rates for Pet Food Coupons: By Change in Financial Situation of Dog or Cat Owners Compared with 12 Months Ago, Summer 2014 (percent)
        • Table Usage Rates for Pet Food Coupons: By Household Income Bracket of Pet Owners, Summer 2014 (percent)
        • Table Demographics for Pet Owners Who Use Pet Food Coupons, 2014 (number, percent, and index)
        • Table Pet Food Purchasing by Price Level, 2014 (percent)
    • Private-Label Opportunities
      • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Pet Products by Food and Nonfood Category and Segment: Total vs. Private Label, 2013 vs. 2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Table Private-Label Share of IRI-Tracked Sales of Pet Products: By Food and Nonfood Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (percent)
      • Despite Interest, Consumers Hesitate to Embrace Private Label
        • Table Purchasing Patterns for Selected Types of Store-Brand Dog and Cat Food: By Retail Channel Shopped, 2011 vs. 2014 (percent)
    • Ongoing Interest in Premium, Natural, Health Products
      • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "If natural/organic pet products were more available where I shop, I would buy them more often," 2012 vs. 2014 (percent of pet product purchasers)
      • Table Level of Agreement with Statement: "If natural/organic pet products were more affordable where I shop, I would buy them more often," 2012 vs. 2014 (percent)
      • The Organic Pet Food Purchaser
        • Table Overview of the Organic Pet Food Purchaser, 2014 (percent, number and index of dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Human/Pet Bond Impacts Pet Spending
    • Pet Product Shopper Category and Brand Preferences
      • Table Purchasing Indexes for Selected Pet Products and Brands by Leading Retail Channel Shopped by Pet Owners, 2014 (overall percent and index by channel)
      • Table Purchasing Overview for Selected Pet Accessories by Leading Retail Channel Shopped by Pet Owners, 2014 (percent)
      • Table Purchasing Overview for Selected Pet Accessories by Leading Retail Channel Shopped by Pet Owners, 2014 (index)
      • Table Purchasing Indexes for Selected Dog Products and Brands by Leading Retail Channel Shopped by Dog Owners, 2014 (overall percent and index by channel)
      • Table Purchasing Indexes for Selected Cat Products and Brands by Leading Retail Channel Shopped by Cat Owners, 2014 (overall percent and index by channel)
  • Channel Usage
    • Data Sources and Methodology
    • Pet Product Purchasing Rates by Channel
      • Table Household Purchasing Overview for Pet Products by Retail Classification: U.S. Households Overall vs. Pet Owners, 2014 (number and percent)
      • Table Purchasing Rates for Pet Products by Selected Retail Channels and Pet Superstore Chains: 2010-2014 (percent of pet owners)
      • Table Purchasing Base for Pet Products by Selected Retail Channels or Pet Superstore Chains: 2010-2014 (U.S. pet owners in thousands)
    • Walmart Tops Recent Shopper List
      • Table Channel Choices for Pet Product Shopping in Last 3 Months: Pet Food, Pet Medications, Other Pet Supplies, 2014 (percent)
      • Table Amount Spent on Pet Products in Last 30 Days, 2014 (percent)
    • Income Relationship to Channel Selection
      • Table Median Household Income and Average Household Income by Retail Purchasing Classification for Pet Products: Pet Owners, 2014 (in thousands of dollars)
      • Table Median Household Income and Average Household Income of Pet Owners by Retail Purchasing Patterns for Pet Products, 2014 (in thousands of dollars)
      • Rise in Median Household Income
        • Table Median Household Income by Selected Retail Channels for Pet Product Purchasing: Pet Owners, 2010-2014 (in thousands of dollars)
      • Channel Choice by Income Level
        • Table Retail Channel Purchasing Patterns for Pet Products: By Household Income Bracket of Pet Owners, 2014 (percent)
        • Table Retail Channel Purchasing Indexes for Pet Products: By Household Income Bracket of Dog or Cat Owners, 2014
    • Age Relationship to Channel Selection
      • Table Median Age by Retail Purchasing Classification for Pet Products: Pet Owners, 2014
    • Shopper Psychographics: Other Pet Store Shoppers Stand Out
    • Pet Owners Skew High for Internet-Related Practices
    • Other Pet Store Shoppers Concerned About Environment
      • Table Selected Shopping- and Buying-Related Psychographics, Any Agree: Pet Owners Overall vs. Dog Owners and Cat Owners, 2014 (overall percent and index by pet ownership)
      • Table Selected Shopping- and Buying-Related Psychographics by Retail Channel Shopped for Pet Products, 2014 (overall percent and index by retail channel)
      • Table Selected Technology-Related Psychographics: Pet Owners Overall vs. Dog Owners and Cat Owners, 2014 (overall percent and index by pet ownership)
      • Table Selected Internet-Related Indexes by Retail Channel Shopped for Pet Products, 2014 (overall percent and index by retail channel)
      • Table Selected Environmental-Related Indexes by Retail Channel Shopped for Pet Products, 2014 (overall percent and index by retail channel)
      • Table Selected Environmental-Related Psychographics by Retail Channel Shopped for Pet Products, 2014 (overall percent and index by retail channel)
  • Channel Loyalty
    • Two-Thirds of Pet Product Shoppers Are Channel-Loyal
      • Table Channel-Loyal Purchasing of Pet Products by Retail Classification, Summer 2014 (number and percentages)
      • Table Share of Total Channel-Loyal Purchasers of Pet Products by Leading Retail Channels or Pet Superstore Chains, 2010 – 2014 (percent)
      • Table Percentage of Pet Product Shoppers Purchasing 100% of Pet Products Through Retail Channels Over Previous 12 Months, 2014 (percent)
    • Channel Loyalty Is Down Overall
      • Table Overview of Channel Loyalty in Pet Product Purchasing: Total vs. Key Channel (Pet Store, Supermarket, or Discount Store), 2010 – 2014 (percent and number)
    • Supermarkets, Other Pet Stores Decline Most in Channel Loyalty
      • Table Share of Customer Base Who Are Channel-Loyal by Leading Retail Channels or Pet Superstore Chains, 2010 – 2014 (percent)
      • Table Channel-Loyal Customer Base for Pet Products by Leading Retail Channel or Pet Superstore Chain, 2010 – 2014 (number in thousands)
    • Pet Owners Doing More Shopping Around
    • Reasons for Shopping Vary by Channel
    • Routes to Channel Loyalty
  • Mass-Market Focus
    • Mass Channels Draw Largest Percentage of Dog or Cat Owners as Pet Product Shoppers
      • Table Purchasing Rates for Pet Products in Core Mass-Market Outlets: 2010 - 2014 (percent of pet owners)
    • Supermarkets
      • Holding Their Ground
      • Wegmans Goes Head to Head with Pet Specialty
    • Discount Stores, Mass Merchandisers and Supercenters
      • Walmart Loves Pets
      • Target Also Building Its Pet Department
      • Walmart and Target Consider Smaller Store Formats
      • Target and Walmart Jump into Pet Prescriptions Market
    • Wholesale Clubs
    • Drugstores/Convenience Stores
      • A Trip to Walgreens
    • Mass-Market Shopper Demographics
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Supermarkets, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Shoppers: Supermarkets, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Discount Stores, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Shoppers: Discount Stores, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Wholesale Clubs, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Drugstores/Convenience Stores, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
  • Pet Specialty Focus
    • A Growing Shopper Base
      • Table Purchasing Rates for Pet Products in the Pet Specialty Channel: Overall, Pet Superstore, PetSmart, Petco, Other, 2010 vs. 2014 (percent of dog or cat owners)
    • Purchasing Rates by Product Type and Amount Spent
    • Brand Preferences
    • PetSmart and Petco Continue to Advance in Pet Products and Services
      • Table PetSmart and Petco Sales and Number of Stores: 2001-2013 (cumulative, in units and millions of dollars)
      • Natural Products a Retail Strategy in Pet Specialty
      • Pet Specialty Chains Emphasize Non-Medical Services
      • Petco and PetSmart Pull China-Made Treats
      • Franchises and Small Businesses Spur Growth and Innovation
    • Focus on PetSmart
      • Table PetSmart Sales and Number of Stores: 2001-2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • PetSmart Goes Private
      • PetSmart Acquires Pet360
      • Exclusive Products Key to Success
      • PetSmart Tests Small-Store Concept
    • Focus on Petco
      • Table Petco Annual Sales and Number of Stores: 2001-2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Petco Increases Pet Health Reach with Drs. Foster & Smith Purchase
      • Petco Unleashed
    • Other Pet Specialty Chains
    • Independent Pet Store Trends: An Uphill Battle
    • Pet Specialty Channel Shopper Demographics
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Pet Superstores, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Purchasers: Pet Superstores, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: PetSmart, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Purchasers: PetSmart, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Petco, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Purchasers: Petco, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Pet Stores Other Than PetSmart or Petco, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
      • Table Demographics for Channel-Loyal Pet Product Purchasers: Pet Stores Other Than PetSmart or Petco, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
  • Internet Focus
    • "Digital Future" Is Here
    • Online Sales of Pet Products Picking Up Speed
    • Online Purchasing Rates
      • Convenience, Low Prices Attract Pet Owners
    • When, What, Where
      • Table Top Websites for Purchasing Pet Products Online, 2014 (percent)
      • Pet Food Delivery Skews to Urban Areas
    • Online Shopper Demographics
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Online, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
    • PetMed Express Under Pressure
      • Table PetMed Express Sales, 2010-2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Table Share of PetMed Express Sales by Category: 2010, 2012, 2014 (percent)
    • Amazon: The Future of Pet Retail?
      • Table Response to the Question: "How long has it been since your changed pet food brands?", 2015 (percent)
      • AmazonFresh
      • Amazon Opens First Brick-and-Mortar Store
    • PetFlow Banks on Convenience
    • Pet Specialty Strategizes with Online Sales
    • Mass Merchandisers, Supermarkets Turn To Online Sales
    • Going Mobile
  • Veterinary Channel Focus
    • Opportunities and Challenges
      • Table Common Reasons Why Pet Owners Don't Use Professional Veterinary Care (percent who completely agree or somewhat agree)
      • Table Percentage of Dog and Cat Owners Who Have Visited Vet in Past Year: Routine Checkup vs. Sick/Emergency Care, 2011 vs. 2014
    • Veterinary Channel Purchasing Rates
      • Table Veterinary Channel Pet Product Purchasing Pattern by Household Income Bracket, 2014 (percent and index)
    • Purchasing Rates by Product Type and Amount Spent
    • Veterinary Channel Shopper Demographics
      • Table Demographics for Pet Product Purchasers by Retail Channel: Veterinarians, Summer 2014 (number, percent, and index)
  • Natural Supermarket Focus
    • Sales Trends by Category
      • Table Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Natural Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Table Share of Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Natural Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (percent)
      • Specialty/Gourmet Supermarket Sales Down Nearly $2 Million
        • Table Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Specialty/Gourmet Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Share of Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Specialty/Gourmet Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (percent)
    • Food Safety Still a Factor for Pet Owners
    • Whole Foods and Trader Joe's Shopper Base Plateaus
      • Table Pet Owner Shopping Patterns: Trader Joe's vs. Whole Foods, 2010 – 2014 (percent, number, and index for U.S. pet-owning households)
      • Table Pet Owners Shopping at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, 2010-2014 (percent and number of U.S. pet-owning households)
      • Whole Foods Introduces Two New Pet Food Lines
    • Shopper Demographics: Whole Foods and Trader Joe's
      • Table Demographics for Pet Owners Who Shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, 2014 (number, percent, and index)
    • Natural Supermarket Pet Department Dynamics
    • Natural/Organic Products
      • Table Whole Foods Financial Highlights, 2009-2013
  • Dollar Store Focus
    • Industry Overview
    • Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Acquisition
      • Potential Impact on Walmart
      • Potential Impact on Dollar General
    • The Big (Four) Dollar Store Chains
      • Dollar General
      • Family Dollar
      • Dollar Tree
      • 99¢ Only Stores
        • Table Top Four Dollar Store Chains: Sales, No. of Stores, Store Size, Target Market
    • Pet Department Trends
      • A Trip to Dollar Tree
  • Other Channels
    • Many Alternative Channel Options
    • Agricultural Stores
      • Tractor Supply Co. Growing its Pet Department
      • TSC Also Testing New Pet-Focused Concept Stores
      • A Visit to Tractor Supply Co.
    • Home Improvement Channel
    • Closeout Stores: T.J. Maxx and Marshall's
      • T.J. Maxx
      • Marshall's
      • Luxury Retailers
      • Food Co-ops
      • Farms and Farm Markets
      • Gourmet Food Shops and Country Markets

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Pet Product Retailing in the U.S.: Channel Competition and Consumer Shopping Trends, 2nd Edition

In August 2015 Petco announced that it would launch an IPO - less than a year after competitor PetSmart made headlines announcing that the pet specialty giant agreed to be sold to a group led by investment firm BC Partners for $8.7 billion. As the two largest pet specialty retailers, Petco and PetSmart had sales in 2014 exceeding $11 billion, according to Packaged Facts. The total includes PetSmart’s sales in Canada. Services accounted for close to 10% of the total. Combined, the two retailers account for more than 20% of all pet product sales in the U.S.

Pet Product Retailing in the U.S.: Channel Competition and Consumer Shopping Trends, 2nd Edition provides retailers and marketers with valuable insight into pet product retail channel trends and consumer shopping patterns across all of the major pet product shopping venues in the U.S., including supermarkets, discount stores, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, pet superstores, other pet chains and independents, Internet, veterinarians, natural supermarkets, dollar stores, agricultural/feed-seed/farm stores, home improvement/garden centers, and closeout stores.

In the pet retail arena, pet specialty continues to battle it out with mass market retailers, with pet superstores succeeding in growing their customer base over the past five years, but supermarkets and mass merchandisers still in the lead in terms of market penetration. Premiumization is still in full force, but after the first major wave of upscaling in the first decade of the 2000s, many pet owners have already traded up and, with the onset of economic instability, scaled back some as well. Packaged Facts’ pet owner surveys reveal that between 2010 and 2014, the percentage of consumers who agreed that they were spending less on pet products because of the economy grew from 27% to a high of 35% in 2013, dropping back to 30% in 2014. More alarming for pet product marketers, the percentage of pet owners who disagreed to spending less plummeted from 55% in 2010 to 38% in 2014. Despite consumer hesitance, the pet market’s above-average prospects have continued to attract new players, expanding the range of retailers vying for a slice of the pie.

Scope and Methodology

Relying heavily on Packaged Facts’ proprietary quarterly consumer surveys, the report provides an in-depth analysis of consumer shopping behavior and attitudes across channels, and puts in context industry-wide developments that impact where pet owners shop. The report also presents trended national consumer survey results from Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons surveys. Coverage includes breakouts of pet product sales by retail channel; trended rates of channel usage and loyalty; cross-channel trends including impact of recession and ongoing economic sluggishness; role of channel exclusivity or expansion among major marketers and brands; private-label impact; and the role of premium products in the New Normal economy. Key channels and chains covered include:
  • Core mass channels including supermarkets, discount stores/mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, drugstores, and convenience stores
  • Natural supermarkets including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s
  • Pet specialty independents and chains including PetSmart and Petco
  • Veterinarians
  • Internet
  • Dollar Stores
  • Other alternative channels
For each major channel, the report provides trended household purchasing and channel-loyalty rates, as well as demographic and psychographic shopper profiles. Extensive on-site research is documented in text and illustrated with photographs of in-store departments, brand selection, and promotions.


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