s competition from online giants such as
Amazon intensifies, brick-and-mortar retailers are expanding their in-store and online
pet supply game with on-trend food, treats,
“E-commerce is challenging most market norms, and
the internet more broadly is transforming the rest, such
that bold steps are required,” according to the market
researchers from Packaged Facts in their U.S. Pet Market
Outlook, 2018-2019. The result, according to the Rockville,
Md.-based firm, is a surge in innovation across all channels.
From all-natural and protein- and nutrient-rich pet food
to tech toys, today’s cat and dog supplies are increasingly
high quality and driven by the idea that what’s good for
people is good for their pets. Supermarkets are embracing the idea with new product assortments and shopper
The website of Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. invites
shoppers to “find specialty pet store quality, right where
you already shop.” The grocer has added more than 90 new
items, including natural, organic and grain-free pet food, as
well as limited ingredient and specialty diet choices.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart has a content-rich
website that offers shoppers guidance on everything from
how to shop for quality pet food to managing pet allergies
and resources for new “pet parents.”
At a Store Near You
When it comes to heavy and cumbersome pet supplies
A Fetching Game
such as cat litter or 20-pound bags of dog food, consum-
ers are increasingly looking to online purchasing and
home delivery options. This can curb traffic to grocers’
in-store pet aisles.
Pointy, a tech company based in Dublin, is hoping to
change that with the creation of a device that drives traffic
from search engines to the shopper’s local store.
Using a small electronic device that connects a bar-
code scanner and point-of-sale terminal, the Pointy box
records the barcode number of a product each time it’s
scanned, thereby automatically filling a store’s online
Pointy page with inventory.
When shoppers Google pet supplies and more, the
search generates local retailers using Pointy that have the
product they seek.
“Our goal at Pointy is to make it as easy for a customer
to find something in their local shop as it is to find it on
Amazon or another e-commerce giant,” says Charles
Bibby, the company’s chief technology officer, who
co-founded Pointy in 2014 with Mark Cummins.
The device is also designed to be easy for retailers to
install and use. “It’s plug and play,” says Brad Romero,
owner of Ben’s Barketplace in Roseville, Calif., a natural
pet store, which he describes as “Whole Foods for dogs
Romero has been using Pointy for two years with
positive results. “I think it works really well,” he says.
“In searches, we come right up—sometimes ahead of
PetSmart and Petco. That kind of validation is huge. By
Quarterly Pet Report
Competition is fierce as retailers drive traffic to their
in-store and online pet departments. By Jennifer Strailey
Value of the pet