France, Pet stores
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France - Distribution

Tradition and modernity

Market experts are agreed that the pet supplies trade is gaining in importance in France. Many manufacturers take this view too and are focusing in particular on looking after their customers.
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"The French market has developed into one of the primary export markets," states Dr Jürgen Wigger, managing director of Bewital petfood. He believes this is attributable to the fact that pet owners in France, too, increasingly seek alternatives to the very strong, dominant brands. Without such alternatives it is getting ever more difficult for speciality dealers to set themselves apart from the big chains. The Portugal-based aquarium and shopfitting company Aquatlantis is enthusiastic about France: "The French market has always been our biggest market and fortunately has always been on the rise in our particular business," says company spokesperson Eunice Chelo. "This market represents the bulk of our sales and we do not believe that it is slowing down." For more than a year now, Aquatlantis has been distributing its products directly in France. For Casco Pet in the United Kingdom also, the French pet market has seen noticeable growth in both large and small enterprises.
German aquatics firm Dennerle also thinks the French market is developing well. Marketing manager Sylviane Scheidler reports that Dennerle has been servicing the market since 1992 and that the company is respected as a reliable partner. "It is important here that the market is understood and looked after by French-speaking staff," she says, "because there are cultural differences and the key to success is proximity to the market and to the people."

Products and ranges

Aquatlantis sells very well from small to large aquariums, but the French market shows more interest in 80 cm and 1 metre long aquariums, along with aquarium ranges especially for children. "Recently, we have noticed an increase in sales of terrariums and related products, such as substrates and decorations," states Eunice Chelo. Dennerle has seen a trend to date for smaller aquariums, but also notes a growing demand for larger aquariums. "Aquascaping was also a popular topic, but has become more a field for specialists, because retailers were not good at getting the subject across," laments Sylviane Scheidler.
Dr Jürgen Wigger of Bewital speaks about the food range and reports that grain-free products have gained in significance, as have natural products. "The French market has traditionally been dominated by dry food," he says, "although with the growing spread of small dog breeds, moist food is also gaining popularity in France."
Lovenah Boyce, marketing manager of shopfitting specialist Casco Pet, adds: "Whilst French…
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