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Census Data Highlights a Booming Pet Industry 

It’s not surprising to hear that the pet industry is booming, given that more than 70 percent of US households now include a pet and 90 percent of pet owners say that their pets are family. More people have furry, feathered and scaled friends than ever before and that means more money spent on keeping those friends happy and healthy. That’s the story that data from the Economic Census, the single most accurate measurement of the U.S. economy, tells. Best of all, this upswing in spending and exponential growth in the pet industry doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

Every five years, the Census Bureau gathers data from business owners across the country. As you can imagine, that data takes some time to compile and analyze, which is why you’ll find top-line information from the 2017 Census here. Let’s dive into some key insights, which you can use to inform your decisions and enhance your pet business now. 

Just how is the pet industry growing? Since 1987, the total number of establishments offering pet products and services in the U.S. increased from 5,475 to 9,966 in 2017. That increase in offerings spans a wide variety of categories, from books and aquarium products to pet care services. Pet owners now have nearly double the amount of options than they did 30 years ago. In that same amount of time, sales revenue increased dramatically — from $1,359,423 to an astounding $18,268,815, with Pets, Pet Foods & Pet Supplies as the leading category in both number of establishments and sales revenue (as to be expected). The incredible growth illustrated in this graph has evidently continued, with the pet care market projected to reach $75.38 million by the end of 2019. This is attributed to rising trends, such has the humanization of pets, increased demand for higher-quality food and a boost in on-demand pet services. Considering the continuous growth of the industry, 2020 may be the perfect year for retailers who are considering expanding their store’s offerings or opening new locations to make their move. 

The incredible growth illustrated in this graph has evidently continued, with the pet care market projected to reach $75.38 million by the end of 2019. This is attributed to rising trends, such has the humanization of pets, increased demand for higher-quality food and a boost in on-demand pet services. Considering the continuous growth of the industry, 2020 may be the perfect year for retailers who are considering expanding their store’s offerings or opening new locations to make their move. 

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pet store revenue graph

Along with the industry, the annual revenue per pet store increased dramatically, with 2017 capping off at an average of $1.83 million (more than seven times the average annual revenue per store in 1987!).

With three decades of growth (minus a few dips in 2002) and record-breaking estimates for 2019, it’s clear that the pet industry will continue to thrive for years to come. This time of prosperity and possibility presents a perfect opportunity for retailers to take a step back, evaluate their strategies and explore different ways to get an even bigger piece of the pie.

Get more data and details with the full Economic Census Report, which will be available within the next year. And make sure you have the information, training and tools you need to stay up-to-date on the latest pet industry trends by becoming a WPA member now!