Pet Conference Bologna

Meeting the leading European pet retailers

How is the international pet supplies trade responding to the current challenges facing it? Find out more at the International Pet Conference in Bologna.

Anyone familiar with the International Pet Conference will know that scarcely any conference in Europe hosts as many well-known representatives of the leading pet supplies retail groups. This situation will not have changed when the International Pet Conference takes place again in Bologna on 11 and 12 October after a four-year gap caused by the pandemic.

A lot has happened in the meantime. Take Fressnapf, for example: Europe’s leading pet supplies chain invested heavily in expansion and the technical infrastructure during the coronavirus period. The company aims to combine products and services in a unique manner in an ecosystem for all pet lovers in Europe. By way of newly designed web pages and videos offering comprehensive advice, services available digitally or on site such as Dr Fressnapf, Activet or a GPS tracker for dogs, and a variety of other services, the company has succeeded in providing pet owners with an offering online and in store that is probably unmatched worldwide. 

Heiko Bücker, the company’s senior vice president of product offer, will outline the transformation process in the Fressnapf Group to the audience at the International Pet Conference. His presentation will focus on the challenges that the retailer must overcome in the difficult situation prevailing at present with regard to assortment composition and category management. The aspects of goods availability and raw materials procurement will also be a central theme in his talk.

Fressnapf’s XXL store in Krefeld
Fressnapf’s XXL store in Krefeld is considered a pilot store for the retail group. The company aims to open further branches modelled on this in the next few years. 

Thierry le Grelle will also have plenty of interesting things to say. He is CEO of the Belgian pet retailer Tom & Co., which is pressing ahead with expansion. The retailer intends to open more than ten new stores this year, with the main focus on France. 20 existing stores in Belgium are to be modernised. One focal point for Tom & Co. during the Covid-19 pandemic was the wide-ranging e-commerce activity, about which he will talk in Bologna. The crisis prompted 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. Le Grelle stresses that the pet retailer is evolving towards an omnichannel environment, in which stores have a central role.

Maxi Pet
Maxi Pet is part of Pet Network International. Seven sites are located in Romania and three in Bulgaria under this brand name.

Pet Network International is another leading pet product company that will be appearing in Bologna. The company is owned by A&M Capital Europe (AMCE), a private equity firm based in London which specialises in medium-sized European companies. Pet Network International’s headquarters are in Zagreb and the retailer has over 160 pet stores in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Another 100 stores are ex pected to be added by the end of 2025 according to CEO Timo Tervo, who will be attending an International Pet Conference in Bologna in the capacity of speaker for the first time.

Super Zoo
Following the opening of the 150th store in the Czech Republic, company boss Dušan Plaček (centre) announced that another ten stores would be created this year.

A familiar face at the International Pet Conference, on the other hand, is Dušan Plaček. He is proprietor and CEO of the Plaček Group, one of the leading pet product retailers in Europe. His pet store chain Super Zoo, which leads the Czech market, recently opened its 150th store in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic. It has ambitious expansion plans for the next few years, having announced that a further ten stores are to be opened in the country by the end of this year. Attendees at the conference in Bologna will be particularly interested in what Polina Kosharna has to say. She is co-owner and head of the board of the Ukrainian pet product company Suziria and will certainly have much to report on the consequences of the war in Ukraine for the pet sector in Ukraine, Russia and neighbouring states.

In brief: the International Pet Conference  in Bologna on 11 and 12 October

Delegate fee: € 1 390, Information & registration:  Imke Jürgens  Tel: +49 (0)211/8 87 43-35 99  

Topics include:

>>>  Megatrends for the future

>>>  New markets of the future  

>>>  Supply chain upheavals: what next?

>>>  Routes to digitalisation in the pet sector

>>>  Sustainability: a mission for the future

>>>  How new players in the sector change the pet market

The International Pet Conference opens on Tuesday 11 October at 10:00.  

The conference will conclude on Wednesday 12 October at 14:00.

Further information and the latest updates are available at

An event organised jointly by pet worldwide and Managementforum of the Handelsblatt Media Group

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