Environment and Industry Evaluation
Economic Trends - Good news! The pet industry continues to be one of the few industries successfully navigating our current economic recession, while many industries are struggling to survive. Many pet industry and retailer analysts’ predictions for 2011 continue to point to an increase in overall sales of US pet products and services. Even during the darkest days of the recession, spending on accessories and OTC medicine grew at 2%, showing that pet parents will cut back on their own expenses before those of their pets. The APPA (American Pet Products Association) projects growth levels back to pre-recession levels of 5.8%. Whether we see a rebound to this level remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt it will pick up again in 2011. Wal-Mart has rolled out pet grooming facilities but not with the characteristic aggression you might have expected. Pet travel services, such as temporary day care for pets, are definitely a niche with plenty of room to grow. Who better to pioneer the idea than Disney, which has finally caught on to the trend of vacationers travelling with their pets, opening the Best Friends Pet Care luxury dog and cat resort right across from the Walt Disney World Resort. While the total numbers may vary, there is no doubt that the pet industry overall is a growing industry. We are already seeing 2011 as showing great signs for continued imperviousness to the down economy. My expectation is that this trend will continue as pets grow more solidly and widely in their position as cherished family members, and aging baby boomers look to pets to fill a void left by empty nests. Paws Fur Beauty & P’etcetera would without a doubt do well under these circumstances. Technological/Social Trends - High-tech products including computerized identification tags, digital aquarium kits, automatic doors and feeders, enhanced reptile terrarium lighting systems and touch-activated toys help pet-owners take care of companion animals with ease and precision. Products designed with convenience in mind lead this trend. Programmable feeding and drinking systems, automatic and battery-operated toys, self-cleaning litter boxes and self-warming pet mats let pets virtually care for themselves! There is no doubt that social networking, blogging, and other forms of online communication will continue to play a major role in many pet loving families lives this year, as they look to share their beloved pets with the world, seek out respected and recommended information, network with like-minded pet owners, and keep informed of pet related news, information, products and services. From Dogster/Catster to Facebook, Twitter, blogs and online groups and forums, pet loving parents of dogs, cats, hamsters, horses, ferrets and other pets are online, interacting with other pet lovers at an unbelievable increasing rate. With the availability of social networking at their fingertips 24 hours a day, through various devices, this trend will continue to grow and expand. Also with that availability, comes passionate pet lovers talking about what they like and don’t like in the way of products and services pet businesses provide. These readily available resources will help make changes to our business in an effort to keep it current and to help provide the services our customers are seeking. Political Trends – Introduced on May 13, 2010 were amendments to legislations that now allowed soliciting, accepting, and processing of dog registrations and tags for any dog or cat within the jurisdiction of a municipality, but only if the kennel, pet shop, shelter, pound, veterinarian, or pet grooming establishment has received approval in writing from the municipality to do so. This can inevitably help thrive our business and enable us to offer more services than the conventional pet groomer in the vicinity. The bordering towns we intend to provide service in would require us to register...
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