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Packaged Facts Finds that Franchising Boom Drives Pet Care Services

Bringing locally owned pet stores together can help entrepreneurs compete effectively against online kingpins and corporate chains.




(PRESS RELEASE) ROCKVILLE, MD — For many years, the multibillion question for smaller-scale pet retailers and service providers has been how to survive, much less thrive, in an industry dominated by giants such as Walmart, PetSmart, Amazon and Chewy. At least some of the answer, according to Packaged Facts’ just-released Pet Services in the U.S., lies in franchising.

Over 2,500 franchised pet stores and service providers are open or in development in the US, approximately one-third operated by Pet Supplies Plus, a chain that illustrates the splash-over by pet product retailers into pet grooming services. Similarly combining retail and services is franchisor EarthWise Pet, with over 170 locations, approximately 75% franchisee-owned, under the premise that bringing locally owned pet stores together can help entrepreneurs compete effectively against online kingpins and corporate chains.

The proof of the franchising pudding is also apparent in the rapid growth of established pure-play pet service providers including Dogtopia, Camp Bow Wow, Fetch! Pet Care, and Sit Means Sit, as well as in the steady stream of newer players.

Observers of pet industry trends, as is the case with other consumer markets, have long been wary of “corporatization,” viewed by critics as potentially de-personalizing the customer experience and lowering standards compared with traditional mom ‘n’ pop shops. At the consumer level, franchising can combine some of the advantages of local, operator-owned with corporate efficiencies. At the industry level, franchising exemplifies how the pet market has entered a new era of multiple-front competition driven in large part by—and as importantly in reaction to—the e-commerce boom.

As a result, as emphasized by this Packaged Facts report, the pet industry is no longer just “omnichannel” but “omnimarket,” with companies strategically crossing former business operations boundaries between brick-and-mortar and e-tail, pet specialty and mass market, and pet products and services.

Embracing an “omniservice” approach, proactive pet care service providers are riding this larger wave. Retailers, pet care centers, grooming salons, boarding facilities, and pet insurance providers are complementing and bolstering core services with new offerings including at-home, virtual, and end-of-pet-life services.


“Upping the competitive ante,” explains report analyst David Lummis, is that “several franchisors offering grooming services appear to be going gangbusters, all with national aspirations and solid investment backing”. Pet market competitors therefore routinely number among the leading franchises as tracked by sources including Entrepreneur.



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