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US Pet Store Retailing Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Pet Store Retailing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?


This Report focuses on the pet products market and how consumers shop the category. It offers sales trends, a snapshot of recent initiatives in key retail players in the US market, as well as detailed exploration of pet owners’ attitudes and shopping behaviors in this category.

The following pet product categories are included in this Report:

  • Pet food and trends
  • Pet supplies

What you need to know

In recent years, three trends have impacted pet retail: the expansion of pet specialty chains, the growth of mass merchandisers, and the rise of the internet. In 2017, pet owners spent an estimated $47 billion on pet food and pet supplies for their pet.

With pets becoming more significant members of the household, pet owners are becoming more involved in the shopping process which is changing how they interact with retailers. While convenience remains essential, elevating the customer experience could allow retailers to gain loyal shoppers in a category anticipated to experience significant growth in upcoming years.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca Cullen, a leading analyst in the Household Care sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

From adapting to shifting demographics and product preferences to competing with online, mass merchants, and independent retailers (eg boutiques), pet specialty will need to adapt to a changing retail landscape. Rebecca Cullen
Household Care Analyst


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The market
            • Consistent future growth anticipated
              • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of pet food and supplies, at current prices, 2012-22
            • The issues
              • Price and convenience outweigh pet-specific factors when choosing retailer
                • Figure 2: Select reasons for Purchase Location, March 2018
              • Engagement declines with age of pet and owner
                • Figure 3: Select attitudes toward shopping for your pet - agree, by age of dog, March 2018
              • Younger adults engaged, yet lack loyalty
                • Figure 4: Select attitudes toward shopping and purchase behaviors - agree, by age, March 2018
              • The opportunities
                • Diversify sales
                  • Figure 5: Select online shopping attitudes and behaviors, March 2018
                • Play up exclusivity
                  • Figure 6: Pet products shopped by select retailer, March 2018
                • Make it more than just a place to shop
                  • Figure 7: Attitudes toward shopping enjoyment and engagement-agree, Reason for selecting retailer, pet-friendly environment, March 2018
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Steady growth expected to continue
                    • Mass premiumization of pet products impacts category
                      • America’s pet population: canines still top dog
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Pet care market sees exceptional growth
                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of pet food and supplies, at current prices, 2012-22
                          • Figure 9: Total US retail sales and forecast of pet food and supplies, at current prices, 2012-22
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Spread of premium pet products into mainstream channels
                          • Figure 10: Target email ad, September 2017
                          • Figure 11: Walmart email ad, April 2018
                      • Market Factors

                        • Nearly seven in 10 Millennials solely responsible for pet shopping
                          • Figure 12: Share of US population by generation, 2017
                        • America’s pets – Pet ownership continues to climb
                          • Figure 13: Number of pet-owning households, 2010-17
                          • Figure 14: Number of pet-owning households, by type of pet, 2010-17
                        • Most stick to one pet in the home, pet population aging
                          • Figure 15: Profile of America’s pets, March 2018
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Spotlight on pet specialty retailers
                          • Retailers tap into subscription services, enhance health services
                            • “Speak”: voice-ordering for pet retailing, upgrading shopping experiences
                            • Retailer Overview and Social Media Spotlight

                              • PetSmart, Inc.
                                  • Figure 16: Mentions of PetSmart, March 2017-18
                                • Petco Animal Supplies, Inc.
                                  • Figure 17: Mentions of Petco, March 2017-18
                              • What’s Trending?

                                • Retailers beef up subscription programs
                                    • Figure 18: Target Bark pet toys and treats display, Chicago (Oak Lawn), April 2018
                                  • Yet subscription services have a way to go
                                    • In their words: pet subscriptions are a “nice to have” for most
                                      • Pet specialty invest in online capabilities, shopping services
                                        • Retailers become partners in (pet) health
                                          • Insurance and vet services
                                            • Figure 19: PetSmart Banfield Pet Hospital, Chicago (Tinley Park), April 2018
                                          • Premium and health-focused food and supplies
                                            • Figure 20: Pinnacle pet food display NOT from actual PetSmart Pet Spa locations, Chicago (Tinley Park), April 2018
                                          • Workin’ on their fitness
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Voice-controlled ordering pawing its way into the future
                                              • The value of interaction: create more than just a place to shop
                                                • Does the Amazon, Whole Foods acquisition impact pet retailing?
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Single men, younger adults take on shopping responsibility
                                                    • Pet specialty stores, mass merchants dominate category
                                                      • Price, location factor strongly into retailer selection
                                                        • Online offers better prices and selection, yet lacks transparency
                                                          • Pet owners like to shop for their pet, especially if it benefits pet’s health
                                                          • Pet Shopping Responsibility

                                                            • Two thirds of pet owners do all the shopping
                                                              • Figure 21: Pet shopping responsibility, March 2018
                                                            • Men, especially single men, play a bigger role
                                                              • Millennials take on more shopping responsibilities
                                                                • With age comes less responsibility, at least with pets
                                                                  • Figure 22: Profile of primary pet shopper, by key demographics, March 2018
                                                              • Retailers Shopped

                                                                • Pet specialty, Walmart lead the pack
                                                                    • Figure 23: Target email ad, March 2018
                                                                    • Figure 24: Retailers shopped, by segment, March 2018
                                                                  • Younger pet owners more likely to shop around
                                                                    • Figure 25: Pet specialty, mass merchandiser, and online retailers shopped, by age, March 2018
                                                                  • Dog owners shop specialty
                                                                    • Figure 26: Retailers shopped for pet house/apparel/travel supplies, pet food/treats, by type of pet, March 2018
                                                                  • In their words: where they shop
                                                                  • Reasons for Purchase Location

                                                                    • Convenience, price, and selection drive retailer selection
                                                                      • Figure 27: Reasons for Purchase Location, March 2018
                                                                    • Low prices, preferred brand, and location reaches widest audience
                                                                      • Figure 28: TURF analysis – Reasons for purchase location, March 2018
                                                                      • Figure 29: TURF analysis – Reasons for purchase location, March 2018
                                                                    • Methodology
                                                                      • Services, in-store experience appeal to younger shoppers
                                                                        • Figure 30: Reasons for Purchase Location, by age, March 2018
                                                                      • New pup owners seek guidance and engagement
                                                                        • Figure 31: Reasons for Purchase Location, by age of dog, March 2018
                                                                    • Online Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors

                                                                      • While online has its perks, pet owners proceed with caution
                                                                        • Figure 32: Online shopping attitudes and behaviors – Pros and cons of shopping online, March 2018
                                                                      • Why aren’t more people buying pet products online?
                                                                          • Figure 33: Chewy mailer, April 2018
                                                                        • Shopping retailer online preferred over online-only
                                                                          • Figure 34: Online shopping attitudes and behaviors – Shopping retailers online vs shopping online-only, March 2018
                                                                        • Younger adults, particularly men, research and shop online
                                                                          • Figure 35: Select online shopping attitudes and behaviors, by gender and age, March 2018
                                                                      • Attitudes toward Shopping for Pets

                                                                        • Health is top of mind for pet owners while shopping
                                                                          • Figure 36: Attitudes toward shopping and purchase behaviors, agree, by age, March 2018
                                                                        • Pet specialty offers better quality, experience
                                                                          • Figure 37: Attitudes toward pet specialty retailers, agree, by age, March 2018
                                                                        • In their words: pet specialty vs everyone else
                                                                          • Shopping for pets a passion for many, but not all want to shop with them
                                                                              • Figure 38: Attitudes toward shopping enjoyment and engagement, agree, by age, March 2018
                                                                            • Engagement declines with age of pet
                                                                              • Figure 39: Select attitudes toward shopping for pets, by age of dog, agree, March 2018
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Sales data
                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                            • Figure 40: Total US sales and forecast of pet food and supplies, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                            • Figure 41: Pet acquisition, March 2018
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Retailer selection factors, by select pet food and treat purchase location, March 2018
                                                                                          • Simmons consumer data
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Summary of bases for pet-owning households, October 2009 – November 2017

                                                                                        About the report

                                                                                        This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                                        • The Consumer

                                                                                          What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                                        • The Competitors

                                                                                          Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                                        • The Market

                                                                                          Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                                        • The Innovations

                                                                                          New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                                        • The Opportunities

                                                                                          Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                                        • The Trends

                                                                                          What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                                        Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.