The Future in Focus




Seth Mendelson
Group Publisher
Group Editorial Director



Everyone wants a peek into the future.

It is our job at Pet Business magazine to offer you a look into that crystal ball, at least as much as a business magazine can provide.

Starting with this issue, Pet Business and all of the Macfadden Communication Group magazines will start to offer articles under our 2020 Vision Series. These articles, which will usually be cover stories, will focus on big-picture topics that will not only impact the way retailers do business today, but also how they should plan to operate six years into the future—the year 2020.

Our goal is simple: Give our readers—retailers, suppliers and wholesalers—a look into the future and what they need to do to stay ahead of the curve. Often, these stories will cross categories, yet each one will be written with our specific market in mind.

Our first 2020 Vision article about consumer demographics is a great example of this new direction. Changing demographics are certain to have a dramatic impact on the way retailers operate in the future. The consumer of yesterday, and even today, will not be the consumer of tomorrow. In the future, typical consumers will be older, and they will hail from a wide range of ethnic groups. Unfortunately, thanks to this nagging recession, they may also have less money to spend.

Some demographers suggest that in less than 25 years, more than half of the U.S. population will be non-white or Hispanic. This will have a direct role on how pet retailers operate. Tomorrow’s customers will have different buying and pet-owning tendencies. Retailers will have to update their marketing strategies to reach a more multi-cultural and -generational customer base than today.

One retailer mentioned to us that he is well aware of changing demographics in his marketing territory in Northern California. “It is all about compromise,” he stressed. “I am learning that I need to understand that different consumers need different things. I used to build my stores around what I think shoppers wanted, kind of a cookie-cutter approach. Now, I know that I have to build stores that work for different types of consumers based on who lives in the area.”
We hope that the 2020 Vision Series helps retailers gain a better understanding of what lies ahead.