Under a policy adopted last year, Santa Monica-based Macerich will not renew the leases for any pet stores that sell live animals.
Instead, only adoption centers with rescued animals will be allowed in Macerich-owned malls.
In Arizona, that impact of that change is becoming visible, according to the Arizona Republic, and it’s serving to help out a lot of animal shelters and homeless pets. At many a mall pet store, animals in need of adoption have replaced those pumped out by breeders.
The change in the company’s policy reflects shifts in public opinion regarding pet buying, and a growing recognition that many of the dogs sold in stores come from puppy mills. A 2011 survey by New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain Corp., a pet-product company, found that, of more than 1,000 pet owners only 4 percent would buy their next pet from a pet store.
“Our focus is now directed to working with local pet-rescue organizations in our communities and pet-accessory retailers to serve the needs of our shoppers,” said Melissa Rupp, assistant marketing manager at Macerich-owned SanTan Village in Gilbert.
The trend toward adoption centers, which had begun in some Arizona retail locations even before Macerich changed its policy, has accelerated, the Republic reports.
Many large retailers already operate adoption programs in with animal-welfare organizations, including and Petco and PetSmart, which reports the adoptions of more than 5 million cats and dogs since 1994.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, 1,700 pet stores across the country have signed its “Pet Friendly Pledge” not to sell puppies in their stores. Fifty-three of those locations are in Arizona.
The Humane Society Petique at the Biltmore Fashion Park opened in November 2009, two years before Macerich’s policy change, and it marked the first time a retail developer partnered with a Valley rescue group. More than 2,000 animals have been adopted out of the rescue storefront.
The venture has helped the local Humane Society, which charges adoption fees of $10 to $160. The money goes to programs for homeless animals such as Second Chance Animal Hospital and daily sheltering needs, Nelson said. The society also runs Petopia at Desert Sky Mall.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control partners with PetSmart to host adoption events, and it runs the storefront Under One Woof! at Metrocenter Mall, a shopping mall not owned by Macerich.
(Photo: Michael Schennum / The Arizona Republic)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 31st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, adoption centers, animals, arizona, attitudes, breeders, breeding, dogs, don't buy, hsus, humane society of the united states, leases, macerich, malls, pet friendly pledge, pet stores, petco, pets, petsmart, phoenix, policy, public, puppy, puppy mills, selling, shopping centers, surveys
Growing numbers of pet owners are seeking bargains and shunning opulent items as the $87 billion pet product market — still surviving the recession better than most — is showing some signs of slowing down.
So reports Business Week, citing surveys that show more families are cutting back on pet spending, particularly when it comes to luxury items.
Nearly four out of 10 U.S. pet owners in a September survey by Packaged Facts said they’re spending less on pet products, up from 27 percent in February 2010; and three-quarters of them are looking for deals, particularly on non-food items like apparel and toys.
“The totally discretionary stuff is increasingly being cast aside,” said Lee Linthicum, head of food research at Euromonitor. “People still want to spend a fair bit of money on their pets, but they are reevaluating their priorities.”
Retailers such as PetSmart and Petco are turning to promotions to keep customers from defecting to discount stores like Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., but that comes with a cost. Discounts caused PetSmart’s profit margins on merchandise to narrow last quarter for the first time in two years, according to David Strasser, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in New York.
“Our industry is not recession-proof — we’re recession flexible,” said Leo Sanders, the owner of a grooming and boarding business in Corning, New York. “People will still spend, but instead of frivolous spending on squeakers and rawhide bones, now they are reading labels and making sure it’s a quality product. And they’re asking for discounts more.”
Joanne Mahon, managing director of Diamond Dogs in the U.K., said sales of the company’s diamond leash and collar combinations, and other upscale items, dropped as much as 25 percent last year. And Joan Volpe, managing coordinator at the Center for Professional Studies at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, said tighter household budgets have had a “sobering effect” on pricey pet apparel, such as that unveiled in its annual pet fashion show.
“There has been a turn to practicality,” Volpe said. “The seemingly frivolous items of just a few years ago like net tutus are no longer in demand.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, bargains, discounts, economy, food, industry, items, luxury, pet, pet products, pet smart, petco, pets, products, recession, retail, sales, spending, stores, surveys