With 90 branches, the pet store chain established by Rolf Boffa 30 years ago is the driving force in Switzerland. For the company's boss, there's a simple explanation for this: "'Qualipet = quality for your household' is our motto. We have stuck to that for 30 years and we have been growing with it for years, even in the case of stores in the immediate vicinity of Fressnapf," he tells PET worldwide. Added to this is the advantage that Qualipet has exclusive representation in all the big shopping centres such as Sihlcity in Zurich or the Glattcenter in Wallisellen. The larger centres in particular have been successful so far in competing with the growing online retail trade and retaining their position as a magnet for consumers.
Like most pet product retailers in Switzerland, Qualipet grew substantially during the pandemic. Last year, the company increased its sales by CHF 15 mio to CHF 186 mio (approx. 172 mio euros). In the dog and cat categories in particular, where the pet population and thus also the number of new customers have risen massively, the retail chain recorded high growth. The situation with regard to the small animal and ornamental fish segments was different; here the business suffered from the inability to sell pets in store during lockdowns lasting months. The biggest growth at Qualipet was recorded for private label products, the number of which had already been expanded significantly by the company prior to the pandemic. "With our own brands the focus is not on price. The quality and composition of our products are unique," says the Qualipet boss.
Investing in logistics
Boffa is also highly satisfied with the development of his online shop, which was able to more than double its sales within a year during the pandemic. "We are currently investing in a warehouse with 20 000 storage spaces and incorporating a high-bay pallet warehouse and automatic packing station into it," he announces. Qualipet aims to reach its customers via all channels, from pick-up to ordering in store for home delivery or by calling the store and having goods delivered within a few hours. Boffa says that "customers can shop where and how they wish - the only important factor is that they shop with Qualipet, either in store or online".
In the next year, Boffa will hand…