- Pet merchandise is expected to be one of the top gift-giving categories this holiday season, with people planning to spend an average of $90, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte.
- Walmart, Chewy, Petco, Petsmart and other retailers have stocked up on seasonal costumes, chew toys and other pet gifts.
- “Pet parents have more time. All of us have more time,” Chewy CEO Sumit Singh said. “When you have time and there are more people at home, pets are actually getting entertained and engaged more.”
During the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, Meagan Remmes felt a tug for companionship after she got furloughed from her job and spent long days in a quiet house. She found her answer about two weeks ago in a box abandoned near her mailbox.
She heard a whimper. Inside, she found a weeks-old puppy wrapped in a towel.
Her new rescue puppy, Locust, is one of many that have joined families through adoptions and fostering during the pandemic as Americans seek out company and find it in pets from reptiles to cats. As Americans get ready for the holidays, retailers and industry-watchers anticipate that pet boom may drive sales of dog treats, cat furniture, pet-sized ugly Christmas sweaters and other gifts throughout the holiday season.
Pet merchandise is expected to be one of the top gift-giving categories, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte. About half of the more than 4,000 people surveyed by the firm said they plan to purchase pet foods and supplies during the holiday season. On average, they plan to spend $90 on pet items, such as gifts for their own dog or for a family member or friend’s pet.
About one in four people said they plan to buy pet toys, decor and accessories as a gift. About 15% of those surveyed said they hoped to receive those as a gift.
Walmart said it’s prepared to sell more than 3 million pet beds. Chewy said it will offer gift cards and personalized mugs, blankets and bandanas for the first time this holiday. And PetSmart will carry a mix of seasonal attire — including Santa costumes for bearded dragons.
Rod Sides, vice chairman of retail and distribution at Deloitte, said pet owners need supplies for their new pets. He said historical buying patterns show that pets take priority, even when the budget is tight.
“Often, pet is a fairly recession-proof category,” he said. “Folks will continue to spend for their pets, just as they do for their kids and family.”
A $53 billion market
Even before the pandemic, pet care spending was on an upward trajectory. The $131 billion global industry is expected to have a 7% compound annual growth rate over the next five years, according to research by Jefferies. The