The luxury pet market is thriving, with UK pet owners spending around £500 a year on luxury goods for their pets, according to data from MoneySuperMarket. 7 out of 10 people are willing to spend more on their pets than on themselves. This trend is driven by the surge in pet ownership during lockdowns, which has created a lucrative market for entrepreneurs. One such entrepreneur is Katja Schell, who opened Eric & Dolly’s, a luxury dog boutique, three years ago. Schell says that people are happy to pamper their dogs because it makes them feel better, and they will often pamper their pets before themselves.
The location of Schell’s store in Burnham Market Village, Norfolk, has been a key factor in its success. The village is known for its upmarket businesses and wealthy residents and is a popular tourist spot for dog owners. Personal service has been a big part of Eric & Dolly’s success, as customers appreciate the opportunity to interact with staff and their dogs in-store.
The luxury pet industry is one of the few industries that haven’t been affected by the current cost of living crisis. Schell says that people still want stylish and practical things for their pets and that buying luxury pet goods is a feel-good factor. More and more businesses are targeting the premium segment of the pet care industry, and Schell advises that research is required before entering the market.
Social media influencers have also played a role in the industry’s growth, with 37% of Britons saying they buy products for their pets based on recommendations from platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Luxury brands with pet lines such as Gucci, Celine, and Moncler have also leveraged social media influencers as an important marketing channel.
Entrepreneurs looking to tap into the luxury pet market should focus on understanding and catering to pet owners’ challenges, pain points, and joys, says cultural analyst Kimberly Howard. Entrepreneurs can also look to emerging trends in baby products to predict what will happen next for pets, adds Howard.