Independent pet food retailer Bentley’s Pet Stuff is applauding Fromm and Champion Petfoods' decisions to pull their products off of Chewy.com, along with Tuffy’s Pet Foods decision to do the same in April 2017. Bentley's Vice-President, Giovanni Senafe, posted an open letter to customers, friends and fellow independent retailers on Bentley's Pet Stuff Facebook page on July 12, 2017, explaining their position.
“My wife and I are in this for the pets and their owners," said Senafe in the statement. "The decisions made by Fromm and Champion Pets this past week prove to me there are companies who do not choose the bottom line above all, and made me have some extra hope. Yes, we know that some companies see the opportunity in the industry as a big one, but independents make choices day in and day out to not make decisions based on market share and profit.”
Tuffy's Pet Foods, maker of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet brands, announced it would terminate its relationship with Chewy.com in April 2017 after PetSmart announced plans to buy the online retailer. Tuffy's company officials wrote in a statement, “While we have respect for the success and growth witnessed by the large and mass retailers they do not fall within the channels we choose to support with our product and marketing plans.”
Bentley's thanks Fromm and Champion
On July 5, 2017 Peter Muhlenfeld of Champion Petfoods, makers of Orijen and Acana, addressed the company’s decision to support independent retailers by pulling out of Chewy.com. “Pet specialists have an intimate knowledge of our foods, are committed to providing expert advice and have played a crucial role in bringing our biologically appropriate foods to pet lovers everywhere," said Muhlenfeld.
The Fromm Facebook page posted a statement on July 10, 2017 that included the following:
“Fromm Family Foods is 5th generation family owned-and-operated company with a long history of selling our products exclusively to independent pet retailers ... As a result of Chewy’s sale to PetSmart, they are no longer an authorized retailer of Fromm Products.”
According to Senafe, Fromm and Champion are doing what they feel is right for their customer base.
“Fromm and Champion didn't drop Chewy to make it more difficult for their customers," said Senafe. "They did it to try and help their advocates (the independents) survive … At Bentley's we believe in rotating and being loyal to the quality of the products we carry, not the brands behind them, but I am saying they are tremendously different than the hundreds of other brands being sold on these online sites or even in some brick-and-mortar stores ... Thank you for giving the independent a chance."