Partner alliance planned for Benelux

Fressnapf eyes a fresh start in the Netherlands

Torsten Toeller has set his sights on another new expansion target: the Netherlands.
Torsten Toeller has set his sights on another new expansion target: the Netherlands.

Problems in the supply chains, high inflation and growing consumer reticence, a shortage of raw materials and the lingering coronavirus: the problems currently facing retailers have left their mark even on Europe’s leading pet store chain Fressnapf. “We are slightly below target at present, but we are growing in all country markets compared with last year, even on a comparable store area,” Fressnapf proprietor Torsten Toeller told PET worldwide in the run-up to opening Fressnapf’s first Romanian store.

Fressnapf is continuing to increase pet food sales at the accustomed rate, according to Toeller. In Fressnapf and Maxi-Zoo stores, this segment accounts for approximately two thirds of overall sales. With accessories, on the other hand, the retail group is presently seeing a slight downturn. A notable aspect, says the Fressnapf boss, is that growth in virtually all foreign markets is higher than in the group’s domestic market in Germany. He believes that one of the reasons for this is the phenomenon of “German anxiety”, the fear many Germans have regarding the future; it is a phenomenon that is observed scarcely or not at all in other countries.

After setting out plans in recent weeks for strong growth in South East Europe, Fressnapf is currently also contemplating a renewed entry into the Netherlands market, although Toeller has not specified a precise time. Having acquired a stake in the Dutch pet store chain Jumper in 2001, Fressnapf withdrew from the Netherlands a few years later, preferring to focus on other expansion targets. A fresh start is now on the horizon. As in South East Europe and in the Alpine region, the company would prefer to enter into a partner alliance of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in the Benelux states with a joint management team and one headquarters.

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