In the aquarium segment, either the number of fish species is cut, the range of decorative items downsized, or fewer show tanks are presented at the POS. It is all well and good to consider a department from the perspective of profitability and make changes if sales targets are not achieved; but to put it colloquially, getting rid of a department may be akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
This is all the more the case as aquarium keeping is on the increase again in many countries. At least, this is the experience of many Interzoo exhibitors to whom PET worldwide has spoken. There are still countries in which the business of keeping fish is ailing or stagnating, to be sure, and often this trend is due to reasons that have nothing to do with aquatics. If a growing number of store chains in France decide to concentrate on products for dogs and cats, for instance, and significantly reduce the aquarium section in consequence, nobody should be surprised if sales decline.
The development of fishkeeping in many eastern and southern European countries demonstrates, however, that potential still exists. There the hobby is given a more upmarket status and customers of speciality stores are increasingly prepared to invest in expensive aquarium technology, according to sector experts. Even in the USA, the signs are increasing that freshwater aquariums, which have received very little attention in the past, will gain much greater prominence in the future. And countries like China, Taiwan and Korea have a long tradition as strongholds of fishkeeping. This isn't likely to change in the future, especially as purchasing power is growing in many countries in the Far East.