Pet Pampering: Of Spas and Crystal-Studded Leashes
The business of pet care, packaged food and grooming, is growing at a healthy clip at a time when most other industries are facing challenges of slowing economy. Consumers may be cutting back on discretionary spends for themselves, but they are not crimping the style of their canines and felines.
Pet spas, day-care centres, hotels are in expansion mode, luxury pet accessories like diamond or Swarovski-studded dog collars costing over Rs 10,000, and Rs 8,000 pet leashes by Paul Smith are growing in demand.
Euromonitor says the US, Japan and Brazil are ranked among the top three countries for spending on pets. India is currently at 49th position, but is one of the fastest growing, at a little over 20 per cent annually, and has potential to reach the top league.
Indians spend the most on pet food, which is expected to become a Rs-350-crore-market in 2012. Pet healthcare is the second-largest category which will touch Rs 45 crore in the same period, Euromonitor says.
Pets: A Style Statement?
Salil Panicker, proprietor of pet care chain Kennel Mart in Chennai says business is flourishing because pet products are also being purchased for a style statement.
"People want to take their dogs for a walk and are worried about picking up ticks or getting their paws hurt, which is why T-shirts and shoes are in great demand," Panicker says
Take the case of Roasie Ahluwalia, director-marketing of luxury label Canali in India, who says she spends almost Rs 30,000 a month on just pet food. Ahluwalia has nine cats namely Azlan, Tabby and Jerry, among others. "They have a 100 tantrums. We seem to be upgrading their food brands, every few months," she says.
Pet Care Boutiques on Expansion Mode across India
The market for pet care services like spas too is booming. Chennai's Kabbs' Pet Spa & Boutique is now planning to take its brand national and already signing up properties across the South.
Delhi's pet boarding Canine Elite promoter Sonya Kochhar, who set up the venture three years back, too says she is on an expansion mode. The facility provides penthouse style cattery, air-conditioned kennels and rooms for pets, full pantry where home cooked meals are provided, swimming pools and hydro therapies.
It's not just convenience for the pet owner but hygiene concerns that are drawing pet owners to specialised products too.
Authors: Writankar Mukherjee and Sarah Jacob
Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
Source: The Economic Times
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