As is the case everywhere in France, dry food dominates the pet food range at Maxi Zoo France.
As is the case everywhere in France, dry food dominates the pet food range at Maxi Zoo France.
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Growth exceeds plan

France is one of three key markets in Europe that Fressnapf is focused on outside of its home market. PET worldwide met the president of Maxi Zoo France, Jan Wejbrandt, in Paris and spoke to him about the company's plans.
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Covering an area of over 640 000 km2, France is one of the biggest countries in Europe. Any retail company aiming to have a nationwide presence there needs stamina, therefore. It also explains the pace at which Maxi Zoo France, as the French country subsidiary of Fressnapf is called, is currently pushing to expand. By 2021 the pet store group is targeting a figure of at least 300 outlets in France. Last October Maxi Zoo France opened its 100th store in Clermont-Ferrand, bringing the number of stores operated by the retailer to 114, including 19 XXL stores selling pets and with a large retail area of at least 1 000 m2. 

60 new outlets in the pipeline

After opening 30 new Maxi Zoo branches in 2017 and with plans to open as many as 60 new stores this year, there are many reasons to believe that this target will even be surpassed. To raise the profile of Maxi Zoo further in France, the company launched an ambitious TV campaign last year. "That gave us real impetus," says Wej-brandt, delighted with the positive response. It comes as no surprise that last year the company received the award for France's most popular pet store chain for the second time from the "J" publishing group. 
Last year Maxi Zoo France recorded an increase in sales of 13.3 per cent compared with 2016. In consequence of the high pace of growth pursued by the company, the head office and its staff, currently comprising approximately 80 people, will move to new, more spacious premises not far from the present offices near Lyon this summer. More space will also be available on the new site for the Fressnapf academy, which organises regular training courses for the retailer's employees.The canine pet segment is the strongest at Maxi Zoo France, accounting for roughly 40 per cent of sales, followed by the cat segment at around 30 per cent. As reflected in the French pet food market as a whole, dry food dominates both segments, although the market share of moist food is gradually growing at Maxi Zoo France. Contrary to the general trend in the country, the retailer is also experiencing growth in products for small animals. Aquarium products have stabilised after a number of years in decline, according to Wejbrandt. However, the reptile segment has not shown any signs of recovery yet and sales continue to fall slightly, especially in the south of France.
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