Despite a host of challenges, Tom & Co. successfully weathered the two years of the Covid pandemic, achieving double-digit growth in both 2020 and 2021. After sales increased by 15 per cent in 2020, the store chain celebrated its 30th birthday last year with another big rise in sales of 10 per cent to 264 mio euros. The key to this was above-average growth in France, where Tom & Co. had increased its number of stores by the end of last year to 46. It aims to open more new stores there this year also. In Belgium, where the company is the undisputed market leader in pet supplies with 130 outlets, Tom & Co. will further reinforce its position in Flanders. Moreover, the company is expected to modernise around 20 of its existing stores in the country. Growth in both countries has been achieved thanks to the decision by many people to acquire a pet during the pandemic, and also due to the fact that existing pet owners also spent more time with their pets and spoiled them more than ever while the coronavirus held sway. As with other pet retailers, Tom & Co. found that the canine and feline product categories, especially the snacks, were the primary beneficiaries during the pandemic. Thierry le Grelle, CEO of the pet store group, cites the treat segment in particular, which developed massively in Tom & Co. in both France and Belgium. In the small animal segment also, the company was able to boost its sales significantly during the coronavirus outbreak.
One focal point for Tom & Co. during the pandemic was the wide-ranging e-commerce activity. The crisis boosted the pet retailer to develop its digital activities further and the effort paid off, as Tom & Co. now offers both a click-and-collect service with pick-up within 24 hours and home delivery within 48 hours. All online orders are processed from the central warehouse of Tom & Co. Le Grelle stresses, however, that the pet retailer is evolving towards an omnichannel environment, in which stores have a central role. The product assortment in the online shop has been steadily augmented in the last few months and now comprises around 4 000 products in all categories.