Midwest retailer Meijer is working on a path to expand its pet departments for a larger assortment of everyday essentials like food, grooming supplies and Halloween costumes. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 29 million people plan to dress their pets up for Halloween. Meijer has 28 costumes and accessories for dogs, and 9 hats and collars for cats. New this year, Meijer has size XL costumes for large dog breeds.
"Halloween is a time for the entire family – even our favorite four-legged friends – to dress up for a fun night of trick-or-treating, and we wanted to make sure our assortment rose to the challenge," said Shana Ward, Director of Pets Merchandising for Meijer. "Pets are integral members of our customers' families, and we are working diligently to ensure our pet departments remain top of mind for those fun celebrations but also for their total pet care needs."
Meijer has made a significant investment in its pet departments in recent years. The pet departments inside each Meijer supercenter recently added another aisle to make room for an expanded assortment of food. The retailer carries dozens of types of pet food, including national brands like Blue Buffalo, Nutro, Nature's Recipe, Fresh Pet and Rachael Ray Nutrish, and private label True Goodness by Meijer.
At 40 Meijer supercenters, the pet departments are now relocated to the back corner to offer a specialty store feel with spacious displays for products like Halloween-themed pet toys. This represents a 30 percent increase in space compared to other stores. A handful of Meijer supercenters have VetIQ Petcare clinics that offer basic veterinary walk-in services like routine shots and treatments for minor illnesses. These clinics are located at the front of the supercenter with a separate exterior entrance that keeps the pets outside of the store.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.