As Ocado readies itself for an assault on the pet market with the launch of ecommerce site Fetch next month, Retail Week takes a look at this growing sector.

  • The total market for pet care was predicted to grow by just under 6% in value terms and reach close to £4bn in 2012, according to Euromonitor. It attributed the growth to the “humanisation of pets” and added value products such as vitamins and supplements.
  • The same report said consumers were opting for smaller dogs, leading to a fall in the volume sales of dog food.
  • Volume sales of food for cats and small mammals/reptiles have increased as a result of growing single households with pets as companions.
  • Supermarkets and hypermarkets continue to take the lion’s share of the pet care market, representing 50% of the sector. Euromonitor added that pet specialists continue to see strong sales.
  • The UK’s largest pet shop chain, Pets at Home, has 300-plus stores and saw sales rise 7.1% to £544.3m in the 52 weeks to March 29, 2012.
  • Pets at Home snapped up Yorkshire-based equestrian products supplier Ride-Away in December 2012. Set up by Angela and Stephen Clark 33 years ago, the online and catalogue business had a turnover of £6.7m in 2011.
  • Pets at Home also bought 93-strong standalone veterinary practice Vets4Pets in April. The acquisition adds to its existing veterinary practice chain Companion Care.
  • Ocado will launch Fetch.co.uk next month, trading under the strapline ‘the pet store from Ocado’. The site will expand on Ocado’s existing range of pet food, toys and accessories already sold on Ocado.com.
  • Fetch will launch with 5,000 SKUs.
  • Pets at Home launched a pet-focused magazine at Easter, with a print run of half a million.