The American Pet Products Association (APPA), the Pet Industry Distributors Association, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and the World Pet Association (WPA) surveyed their members in order to better understand the current circumstances and challenges facing pet businesses during the unprecedented COVID-19 health emergency.
Over 500 retailers, manufacturers, distributors, groomers, boarding providers, veterinarians and more responded to the online state-of-the-industry survey conducted in May.
The responses from a nationwide survey of pet businesses show a pet care community that quickly adapted to the new normal by effectively balancing the need for workplace and customer safety with the ability to offer products and services to help America’s pet owners ensure the health and well being of their animal companions.
An infographic depicting how the pet care community is taking measures to protect their customers, employees and pets is available to download.
"The new and extensive protection measures being implemented throughout the pandemic aptly demonstrate the ongoing commitment of the responsible pet care community to the safety and well-being of humans and pets," said Steve King, CEO of APPA.
Looking at how business operations could change following the public health crisis, both retailers and manufacturers reported that they expect the accelerated demand for new e-commerce options and emphasis on curbside pickup and home delivery options will extend well beyond the quarantine, further expanding their options for reaching customers. Others indicated they would focus on disaster and emergency planning and adding financial reserves to better meet challenges in the future.
Respondents also relayed how they were giving back to their communities during this time of need. Activities include supplying care packages to pet families who are struggling due to COVID-19, using 3D printers to make faceguards for first responders and leveraging the supply chain to offer hand sanitizer to pet specialty retailers and distributors.
"Pet stores are more than just a place to shop for their customers but also provide a much-needed sense of community for pet owners," said Vic Mason, president of the WPA. "As the public emerges from quarantines, they can be confident that the responsible pet care community has put in place extensive safety protocols to ensure safe shopping experiences for all."