Pets United Goes After a Whole New Animal

Sep 20, 2007 1:04 AM  By

Pets United is setting its sights on sites outside the pet industry and getting into categories from gardening and solar power to farming and biking.

During the past 12 months, Pets United has purchased several non-pet related URLS including Wind.com and Solar.com this year, and Farm.com, Garden.com, and Bike.com in 2006, says chairman/CEO Alex Tabibi. The Hazleton, PA-based Pets United formed a new holding company for the Garden, Wind and Solar acquisitions, UnrealEstate.com. With the exception of Garden.com-which launched in September with 12,000 products–the URLs are under development.

“We’re trying to capture the best name for commerce, community and content,” Tabibi says. With the new categories, the company aims to use the same strategy it did with Pets United: aggregating sites to create a one-stop destination of related URLs. This helps customers find products and information about their interests.

In addition to its Websites including Ferret.com, Fish.com, and Bird.com the company mails nearly 15 million copies annually of its three print catalogs: Country Supply, specializing in equine products; Dog.com; and Petstockroom, which sells bird supplies. Pets United in April acquired State Line Tack, a cataloger of English and Western riding accessories from PetSmart.

Tabibi, who started Pets United with his brother Carlo two years ago, projects the company’s sales this year will reach $87 million. Why is it expanding its pet products empire to include such disparate categories? “We’re trying to acquire URLs where we have a bit of passion around,” Tabibi says. “You know, product extensions.” That explains the July acquisition Fountain.com. “It’s a perfect compliment to go with our Garden.com Website,” which Pets United bought last year from garden cataloger W. Atlee.

“We have a personal interest in everything we enter into,” Tabibi says. “I have a cocker spaniel named J.P., so that was part of why we went after Dog.com. We are starting Garden.com because my mom is an active gardener, and we will be adding Wind.com and Solar.com as a source for alternative energy products, because we are environmentalists.” But he admits that Pets United snapped up the Bike.com URL simply because it was available.