Gift-Giving: Pets Won’t Get Left Out, Association Says

The American Pet Products Association is predicting that pets may have a banner year this holiday season.

As people begin tackling their holiday shopping lists, one industry group is predicting strong sales for an unexpected set of recipients—pets.

Fifty-three percent of dogs and 38 percent of cats receive gifts at Christmas, according to an American Pet Products Association 2011/2012 National Pet Owners Survey.

APPA said pet products have been habitual leaders among retail segments during the holidays, even during the tougher years of the recession, and this year will likely continue the trend. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households include a dog, cat, bird, or other animal companion.

Americans spent roughly $53 billion on their pets in 2012, according to the survey. And while nearly half of that was spent on food, pet owners also shelled out for supplies and over-the-counter medicine; veterinary care; and grooming and boarding services.

Last month Forbes reported there are now 35 pet-service franchises in the United States, and pet hotels continue to pop up around the country.

Only time will tell if people spend more on their pets this holiday season than their human loved ones, but if sales from pet products match the overall holiday trend, they’ll see a moderate growth. The National Retail Federation is estimating this year’s holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent to $586 billion, down from last year’s growth of 5.6 percent.

“While moderate compared to what we experienced the last two holiday seasons, the forecast is a very pragmatic look at what to expect this year given the current rate of economic growth,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement.  “There’s still some general anxiety amongst consumers when it comes to how the state of the economy is impacting their spending plans, but retailers can expect to see excitement around their promotions and plenty of bargain hunters both online and in stores in the coming months.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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