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Photo: Artbejo, Pixabay

Photo: Artbejo, Pixabay

The pet supplies sector is changing rapidly in the digital age. Are you prepared? You can find out at the International Pet Conference in Budapest on 9 and 10 October.

The ambition with which e-commerce giant Amazon is striving to consolidate its position in the pet supplies segment speaks volumes. It is not without reason that economists, corporate consultants and industry insiders are all saying that the future is digital. How can pet product retailers protect their market standing in this landscape? What opportunities are available to manufacturers of pet products for improving their position and becoming more customer-oriented in a globalised world? These questions will form the focal point of the next International Pet Conference, which takes place in Budapest on 9 and 10 October. Once again, well-known figures from trade, industry and the service sector are expected to speak at the conference, which is titled "The pet business in the digital world". 

The talk by Andrea Skersies should be a highlight of the conference. As chief marketing officer at Zooplus AG, Europe's leading online retailer of pet products, she has been on hand to witness the successful development of this dynamic company from the outset and is probably one of the foremost experts in online business in the international pet sector. Another interesting contribution is likely to be that of Hubert Wieser, the regional director of the central region at pet food manufacturer Nestlé Purina PetCare. Wieser will speak about the digital transformation in the pet supplies sector. This is the process of change rooted in digital technologies that will affect society as a whole and companies in particular in the next few years.

The changing face of retailing

As at the International Pet Conference in Barcelona two years ago, some of the most prominent pet product retail firms will present themselves to the audience in Budapest. Lionel Desclée, president and chief executive officer at Tom & Co., will report on the pet store chain's expansion in Belgium and France together with Thierry le Grelle, CFO and co-shareholder of the chain. Attending the International Pet Conference for the first time will be Rafael Martinez-Avial from Spain, the chief executive officer of Tiendanimal. This pet product chain currently operates around 30 stores in Spain and is one of the country's fastest-growing companies. In Budapest Martinez-Avial will chart the rise of his company, assess the Spanish pet supplies market and talk about the company's future plans. 

Daniel Marko, the owner and sales manager of Slovakian wholesaler blue gray (Petpark), is likewise appearing for the first time at the International Pet Conference. His company came to notice last autumn when it received the award for International Pet Retailer/Distributor of the Year from the British pet equipment suppliers' association PetQuip at the PATS show in Telford in the UK. Since blue gray (Petpark) was established in 2008, the company has steadily expanded its range. "We were one of the first companies in our branch that began to apply high standards in supply chain management," a company spokesperson told PET worldwide (see issue 1/2018, p. 20/21). Further information on this will be given in Daniel Marko's talk in Budapest.

A familiar face at previous editions of the International Pet Conference has been Matthias Pohl, the chief executive officer of the Kölle Zoo chain, which belongs to the Fressnapf Group. Kölle Zoo's mission has been to turn shopping in its stores into an experience. The large-format outlets feature a wide range of pets and stock a huge assortment of products for pets. This year Kölle Zoo also intends to move online. What will that mean for the future of the company? It should be interesting to hear what Matthias Pohl has to say about this at the International Pet Conference. 


Budapest at a glance

Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union. With an estimated 2016 population of nearly 1.76 mio distributed over a land area of around 525 square kilometres, Budapest is also one of the most densely populated major cities in the EU. The city is among the 100 cities with the highest GDP in the world, making it one of the largest regional economies in the European Union.

Budapest is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square, the Great Market Hall, the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge and Matthias Church.


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