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Millennials Love to Buy These Items at Local Pet Stores, Survey Finds

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Treats top the list.

Eight-six percent of millennials prefer to buy certain pet items at smaller, locally owned pet shops, with treats topping the list, according to a new survey.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they prefer to buy treats at such retailers, the study by e-commerce retailer zulily found. That was followed by toys (58 percent), pet food (55 percent), accessories such as collars (39 percent, and grooming items such as brushes (34 percent).

At the same time, 77 percent of millennial pet owners prefer to buy certain items online. Top purchases include toys (40 percent), accessories (32 percent), and pet food (31 percent).

Among the survey’s other findings:

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  • 92 percent of millennial pet owners purchase gifts for their pets, such as toys, clothing and treats.On average, millennials who buy their pets gifts on a monthly basis do so four times a month.
  • 82 percent of millennial pet owners have purchased dog- or cat-themed merchandise to advertise their proud pet parenthood.
  • 63 percent of millennial pet owners believe they know more about cats and/or dogs than pet store employees do.
  • Millennial pet owners are so attached to their pets that 71 percent would take a pay cut if it meant they could bring their pet(s) to work every day, with 1 in 5 (21 percent) opting to take a pay cut of 20 percent or more.

“Younger shoppers are quite discerning when it comes to the products they consider good enough for their pets,” said Nathan Richter, senior partner at Wakefield Research. “Whether it’s food or clothing and accessories, their preferences differ depending on whether they are shopping at large vs. small retailers, or online vs. in-person. This is not the generation that is looking for one-stop-shop convenience, so retailers need to be sure they have an optimal mix of high quality and specialty products.”

They survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 nationally representative U.S. millennial pet owners between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25. The findings were outlined in a report called The Millennialization of the Pet Industry – Retail’s Opportunity to Reach the Pet-Obsessed.

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