Pet supply catalogers groomed for growth

Sixty-two percent of the nation’s 111 million households include at least one pet, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association. Yet New York-based media brokerage services firm ParadyszMatera estimates that the house file universe for pet supply catalogs is only 2.11 million names.

Even taking into account that several well-known catalogs in this sector, such as The Dog’s Outfitter and Jeffers, do not make their lists available for rental or exchange, that’s still a small portion of the overall market for pet supplies. Nonetheless, the number of 12-month buyer names available for rental or exchange has increased more than 9% from 1.93 million for the fourth quarter of 2003 and nearly 20% from 1.77 million for the fourth quarter of 2002.

Of those names currently on the market, more than half of them have purchased from Doctors Foster & Smith, whose core cat and dog books account for more than 1.06 million 12-month buyers. Pet Warehouse, the file that consists of Doctors Foster & Smith’s bird, fish, reptile, and small-mammal catalog buyers, has more than 232,000 12-month buyers — enough to make it the second-largest file in this category. The number-three file, PetEdge, sells to breeders, groomers, and other b-to-b buyers as well as to consumers, which explains why its $150 average order value is more than twice as large as Doctors Foster & Smith’s $66 average order size.

Among the major gainers in the category is Care-a-Lot Pet Supply. It ended the fourth quarter of 2004 with more than 109,000 12-month buyers, a 40% increase from 2003. Smaller catalogs that have seen big growth include Cat Claws, whose 12-month buyer file grew 67%, to 46,000, and J and J Dog Supplies, whose 12-month buyer file increased 62%, to 24,000.

On the down side, Great Companions saw its 12-month buyer file shrink by 50%, to 9,000 names. But that’s no doubt because the cataloger narrowed its niche from selling supplies for pets in general to focus exclusively on birds.

Total house file universe: pet supply catalogs

4Q
2002
1Q
2003
2Q
2003
3Q
2003
4Q
2003
1Q
2004
2Q
2004
3Q
2004
4Q
2004
Total universe 1.77 1.82 1.92 1.94 1.93 1.94 1.96 2.14 2.11

Pet supply mailers with the largest active buyer files

Rank List name 4Q 2004 house file universe Average order
1 Doctors Foster & Smith Catalog Buyers 1,064,937 $66
2 Pet Warehouse 232,394 $60
3 PetEdge 118,257 $150
4 Care-a-Lot Pet Supply Warehouse Catalog Buyers 109,338 $75
5 JB Wholesale Pet Supplies Catalog 101,802 $85
Souce: ParadyszMatera

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