The Power of Information

The World Pet Association’s 2016 Retail Operating Performance Report offers unique insight into the pet specialty channel.



When I first entered the pet world as a tropical fish hobbyist more than 40 years ago, it was very much a family run industry, particularly on the retail side. Today, the U.S pet industry boasts more than $60 billion in revenue each year, and pet products can be found in almost every retail setting imaginable. 

Some of the growth in the American pet industry is driven by demographic factors. The Baby Boomer generation is increasingly turning to pets as they age and their children move out of the house. At the same time, Millennials are waiting longer and longer to have children and using pets to fill the gap that kids may have filled in another era.

With the industry constantly evolving, the World Pet Association (WPA) has released its 2016 Retail Operating Performance Report for purchase to help retailers stay ahead of the curve—and their competition. This exclusive report is available to both WPA members and non-members.

The 2016 study—which analyzes more than 100 retail companies in the industry representing over 200 retail locations—provides easy-to-understand guidelines and industry benchmarks to help evaluate financial and operating performance. It includes an evaluation feature, which allows retailers who purchase the report to input their information and receive a customized report that allows them to see where they fall in comparison with their peers.

Among the most interesting findings, the 2016 report found that participating retailers:

• Had median net sales of $900,000, and average net sales of more than $3 million;

• Reported net profit before taxes of five percent (up from 4.4 percent in 2015);

• Reported sales growth of 7.2 percent in 2015;

• Forecast sales growth of 9.5 percent for 2016; and

• Reported total revenues of $310 per selling square foot, and operating margins of $131 per square foot. 

With the pet specialty retail channel growing each year—currently accounting for $18.5 billion in combined revenue and 3.1 percent annual growth, according to recent IBIS World research—empowering pet retailers by providing them with accurate and essential industry information is something we take very seriously. In addition to key facts and figures, the report helps provide an actionable roadmap for improvement, should retailers need to better position themselves as leaders in the marketplace.

This one-of-a-kind strategic analysis helps pet retailers monitor and manage expenses, measure and improve productivity, evaluate employee effectiveness and improve their company’s bottom line. Key areas evaluated include: overall performance, management ratios, cash cycle, liquidity measures, employee productivity ratios, sales performance and space productivity ratios.

Doug Poindexter is president of the World Pet Association.


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