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Strong individual presence in the market

The origins of the pet supplies retail group Djurens Värld (Pets? World) date back to 1994. What started out as a loose purchasing syndicate of stores is now a permanent fixture in the Swedish speciality trading landscape.
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It's a little over 15 years ago that 15 independent pet product retailers came together to place bigger collective goods orders in Germany, Denmark and Italy to benefit from better purchasing terms. Steadily growing interest among other pet retailers in joining such a purchasing syndicate led initially to the formation of the "Commersium" cooperative. Djurens Värld was eventually established in 1999, but it only went public and began to establish the name as a brand six years later. "The chain is unique in the fact that individual stores can keep a well-known store name and use this together with the profile of Djurens Värld," says Annika Engdahl, chairwoman of the board. Focus on individuality "The general concept is to have engaged and enthusiastic pet store owners with good finances working together with the distributors we have agreements with," states Annika Engdahl. "We negotiate purchase agreements, arrange training and seminars, distribute our own magazine, have a loyalty club, do email campaigns, have a common website and some IT support etc." The speciality group is run by a board of managers, consisting of six store owners. Annika Engdahl is convinced that this factor is a great advantage for the group as a whole, as the entire management team also works directly in the pet supplies trade: "Djurens Värld is a tight and trimmed organisation, with fast and efficient decisions." As a fundamental principle, the concept has always been to allow each individual shop owner to take the major business decisions independently. Sales support is offered to members in the form of a quarterly bulletin with price promotions and information on pet owning. Registered club members also receive shorter email dispatches. For every campaign the stores receive pre-prepared commercial material through the post to display in the stores, both to promote the campaign and also to strengthen their profile. Growing structures 26 independently run pet stores currently belong to the speciality group. Three to five new members are expected to join each year. "Our goal is not just quantity, but also quality in new member stores," continues Annika Engdahl. "For us, it is important that stores operate professionally and fit in well with the other member stores." The entrepreneur says that the group does not devote much time to expanding the number of member stores. The management relies much more on the inherent dynamics of the concept, which was endorsed by the addition of five…
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