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Performance

Bottom line: Sales matter. For your business to succeed, you must find the mix of products and/or services that pet parents in your area want to buy. Survey respondents share here not only what categories, brands and services sell well for them, but also their totals and breakdowns for 2021 as well as their forecast for 2022.

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24. What were your total sales in 2021? (Businesses with more than one location gave the average across all locations.)

25. Based on the first six months of this year, how do you expect your total revenues for 2022 to compare with 2021?

26. Rank your product mix, from biggest generator of revenue to smallest:

  1. Food
  2. Treats
  3. Chews (including dental)
  4. Toppers, broths and other bowl boosters
  5. Collars, harnesses, leashes, and other gear
  6. Grooming (including dental)
  7. Supplements (non CBD)
  8. CBD
  9. Litter, poop bags and other waste management, cleaning and odor control
  10. Flea, tick and other pest control
  11. Beds and blankets
  12. Bowls and other housewares
  13. Crates and carriers
  14. Pet parent products
  15. Apparel
  16. Cleaning and odor control

27. What was your average retail sale per transaction in 2021?

<$20
6%
$20-$30
13%
$31-$40
19%
$41-$50
28%
>$50
30%
N/A
4%

28. What was your average retail items per transaction in 2021?

1-2
21%
3-4
52%
5-6
18%
7-8
2%
>9
1%
N/A
6%
Nice! At 52%, three to four items per transaction means many of your teams excel at add-ons.

29. Rank your food product mix, from biggest generator of revenue to smallest:

  1. Kibble
  2. Raw frozen
  3. Wet
  4. Freeze-dried, dehydrated and air-dried
  5. Refrigerated
Based on “Gently Cooked Foods” being your top answer for next breakout product category (p. 33), expect to see #5 increase its rank in our 2023 survey results.
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30. Rank your services mix, from biggest generator of revenue to smallest:

  1. Grooming
  2. Boarding
  3. Day care
  4. Training
  5. Veterinary care
  6. Dog walking and/or pet sitting

31. What % of your overall retail revenue was from e-commerce?

While e-commerce doesn’t make up a large portion of your overall revenue, these numbers show that it continues to grow at a healthy rate thanks to changes you made to meet customer needs during the pandemic.
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32. If you were to select three items for a dashboard to review at the end of the day, what would they be?

33. What was your top-selling food brand in 2021?

  1. Fromm
  2. NutriSource
  3. Stella & Chewy’s
  4. Taste of the Wild
  5. Farmina
    Acana
  6. PureVita
  7. Steve’s Real Food
    Primal
  8. smallbatch
  9. Diamond Naturals
    Health Extension
  10. Zignature
    Dr. Gary’s Best Breed
    Open Farm
    Nulo
    OC Raw
    Northwest Naturals

34. What was your top-selling treat brand in 2021?

  1. Store brand
  2. Bocce’s Bakery
  3. Stella & Chewy’s
  4. Redbarn
  5. Earth Animal
    Fromm
  6. Chip’s Naturals
    Cloud Star
  7. The Natural Dog Company
  8. Vital Essentials
  9. Wild Meadow Farms
    Nutrisource
  10. Barkworthies
    Polka Dog
“Store brand” coming in at #1 doesn’t surprise us, as indies excel at creating bulk biscuit bars that keep customers coming in week after week, sometimes daily!

35. What was your top-selling toy brand in 2021?

  1. Kong
  2. Fluff & Tuff
  3. VIP Products/Tuffy
  4. Tall Tails
  5. West Paw
  6. P.L.A.Y.
  7. HuggleHounds
  8. ZippyPaws
  9. Multipet
  10. PetShop by Fringe

36. What did you earn (salary + share of profit) in 2021?

Earnings were negative
6%
$0 to less than $30,000
22%
$30,000-$39,999
7%
$40,000-$59,999
17%
$60,000-$74,999
14%
$75,000-$99,999
10%
$100,000-$149,999
11%
$150,000-$249,999
6%
$250,000-$500,00
6%
>$500,000
1%

Only 3% of survey respondents said “the money” was what you love most about being a pet pro (p. 44), which is probably a good thing considering that the returns on all of your hard work and long hours aren’t, let’s say, overwhelming for most. The mid-point for earnings in our survey was $60,000 a year.

That’s not to say some pet pros aren’t doing quite well financially. About a quarter of you reported earning more than $100,000 a year. How do these pet pros do it?

The six-figure business owners and top managers were more likely to operate pet supply stores without services, accounting for 42% of the 100K+ earners. Pet supply store operators with services accounted for 35% of the 100K+ group. Boarding facility operators who sold pet supplies were also well represented, accounting for 10% of 100k+ earners. Grooming salon operators represented 5-6% of the 100k+ group.

Also, the bigger earners tended to cater to a wider range of animals rather than just cats and dogs, possibly implying they are bigger businesses, and also generate a higher average ticket — three-quarters of the 100k+ earners reported an average retail sale of above $40, compared to about 60% for those earning less.

Some other interesting findings:

  • Despite pet care being a predominantly female occupation, the gender pay gap still exists. While men accounted for only 16% of our survey respondents, they made up 25% of those in the 100k+ club.
  • There is more racial diversity at the lower end. Whites accounted for 91% of the survey-takers, but 88% of those earning less than 30K and 93% of those earning six figures.
  • Economic uncertainty and downturns tend to favor the strong: 79% of those earning more than $100,000 expected to see sales growth this year, versus 55% for those earning less than $40,000.

37. Tell us about the single best day you’ve ever had in terms of sales:


BIG SPENDERS

  • More than $110,000. I sold a trailer of dog food to one customer.
  • Back when we still had boutique items, we had several really expensive beds that I’d inherited from the original owner. Customer came in and bought them all to the tune of nearly $20,000! I almost fainted.
  • Our biggest days are always when we have a “Marnie” day. This customer purchases over $1,500 on average in just one transaction.
  • A customer came in and bought 17 pallets of shavings. $20,000+ day.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

  • $23,000 during a Halloween costume party.
  • We had a $10,000+ day because of a Black Friday sale on day-care passes. At the time, our average day was about $2,000.
  • Pet Pictures with Santa. Nearly $8,000 on a Saturday.
  • Small Business Saturday, 2019. We hit our goal by 11 a.m. I still remember one of our managers calling us at 7:05 p.m. to tell us the daily total. We were at a local restaurant having dinner and broke down crying. The waitress called the restaurant’s owner and said something must be wrong because we were both in tears. The owner told her to bring us the biggest bottle of champagne and charge us for it because she saw the line wrapped around our block that morning. We made more that day then in the entire first year that we were open.
  • In 2021, it was two Saturdays before Christmas. We have a yearly “Stuff your Sack” sale, and for a $5 donation that we give to a local shelter, we give them a reusable tote and they can fill it and get 10% off everything in it. We had a record sales day of $13,058!
  • Christmas Eve — every year — approximately $3,000 in five hours. God’s Spirit is strong. Everyone is happy!

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES

  • Our 30th anniversary event day — both stores combined, we had sales that exceeded $30,500. Our previous high was $23,000 at one store.
  • On Customer Appreciation Day, we sold $38,000 before discounts.
  • Our second-location grand opening this year: $24,733!
  • We celebrate our anniversary in December with a Customer Appreciation Sale. We have the radio station broadcast live from the store, cook hot dogs in the parking lot, and have lots of giveaways. We put everything in the store on sale that day and have a great turnout. We had almost 400 people through the store and did about five times a normal day’s business.
  • It was a sale day for the store’s anniversary. We did over $22,000, which was about seven times our average day at that time. It was organized chaos for eight hours.

THAT’S A LOT!

  • We groomed almost 30 cats in one day. $3,500 in revenue.
  • Cage Sale — distributor came in with a truckload, and we were packed. One-time deal as company went out of business.
  • Ran an end-of-year promo on day-care packages; brought in $30,000 in one day!

SHUTDOWNS & STORMS

  • The day after everything shut down due to Covid. Panic buying was crazy! We did $17,000 that day. Normal day sales for us are $6,000.
  • We will always remember stimulus Wednesday. We didn’t know stimulus checks had been deposited, and we were utterly confused as to why all of these people were in the store. It took a couple of hours for us to figure it out.
  • Our best day(s) recently were before a hurricane. We did a week’s worth of sales in three days.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 17 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+ editors at [email protected].

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