From Fido and Fluffy to frogs and ferets

Sep 01, 2007 9:30 PM  By

Pets inhabit 71.1 million, or 63%, of U.S. households, according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association. The most popular by far are cats and dogs, though many people count birds, fish, reptiles and other small animals as members of the family. The APPMA estimates that pet owners will spend $40.8 billion on their animals this year.

According to New York-based media brokerage firm ParadyszMatera, the pet supplies market list segment has increased during the past two years. The total 12-month active universe is 2.41 million names in the second quarter, up 14% over last year’s second quarter. During the past two years, the pet segment grew 12%.

The pet products universe is even larger when you consider that large multichannel retailers such as PetSmart and Petco do not release their mailing lists — and thus are not in the count.

The pet supplies lists with the largest 12-month universe counts have stayed relatively consistent during the past year. With more than 1.2 million names, Doctors Foster and Smith maintains its position in the top two spots on the list for its main dog and cat book. The file includes buyers from its other specialty catalogs for birds, fish, reptiles, and small animals (210,000). Dog.com, with 177,000 names, moved up to the third spot this quarter, followed by PetEdge (129,000), and Care-A-Lot Pet Supply (91,000).

Overall incentive use within the pet supplies market is up significantly this year. Through the second quarter, 33% of catalogers offered at least one incentive. That’s up from 25% in 2006. Among the pet supplies promotions offered, use of free shipping increased 3%, and use of discounts was up 7% in 2007.

Several pet product mailers offer free shipping as an incentive, including Dog.com (with orders of more than $49) and Omaha Vaccine Co. (for orders exceeding $50). Care-A-Lot Pet Supply Warehouse and PetEdge, which both target professionals as well as consumers, offer free shipping with orders totaling $550.

Two mailers account for the bulk of discount use. Doctors Foster and Smith regularly offers $5 off first orders, and Only Natural Pet Store offers 5% off $75 orders in all of its catalogs.

House file universe: pet supplies catalogs

2Q
2005
3Q
2005
4Q
2005
1Q
2006
2Q
2006
3Q
2006
4Q
2006
1Q
2007
2Q
2007
Total universe 2.16 2.20 2.14 2.14 2.12 2.29 2.31 2.38 2.41

Pet supplies catalogs with the largest active-buyer files

Rank List name 2Q 2007 house file universe Average order
1 Doctors Foster and Smith Catalog Buyers 1,226,702 $70
2 Doctors Foster and Smith (formerly Pet Warehouse) 210,449 $60
3 Dog.com 177,017 $115
4 PetEdge 129,437 $150
5 Care-A-Lot Pet Supply 91,377 $75
Source: ParadyszMatera