Pets Go Global


These days, pets are a ubiquitous part of American life—owning a dog or getting a brand new kitten for the kids is as American as apple pie. But the U.S. hardly has a monopoly on pet passion. People all over the world embrace the notion that companion animals make life more enjoyable, more fun and simply better. Some countries are just now seeing a rise in home pet ownership, as they move steadily past the days when dogs were strictly outdoor residents and all the neighborhood cats were strays. But it is clear that pet parenting is a growing trend all across the globe.

And where you find a growing and widespread love for pets, you will find pet retail—or at least you will soon.

The evidence is everywhere. Take the Petland chain, for example. The Ohio-based franchise operator released a statement this week letting the world know that well, it has the whole world on its radar. The chain, which already has a presence in the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador, plans to expand into the Middle East North Africa region. The first Petland stores in the region will debut in Saudi Arabia, and it has set its sights on developing locations in United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Further examples of global pet love abound in the news.

Tesco, the U.K.-based grocery and mass-retail chain, is expanding its offering into pet grooming, allowing customers to have their pets groomed while they shop, it has been reported.

In India, the dog show economy is booming, fueled by the country’s passion for pooches. The Times of India is reporting a rise in demand for pure breed pups and a sharp increase in how much people are willing to spend on these prized canines.

And back here in the western hemisphere, Petco México is reporting double-digit growth as it moves forward on plans to have a total of 50 stores by 2018.

None of this should come as much of surprise to anyone in the States, if only because we love our own pets so darn much. Still, it is interesting to watch how companion animals’ universal appeal is driving retail worldwide.


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