Specialty pet product manufacturers say their market is shrinking in the U.S. as pet owners increasingly shop online.
Many companies are relying on the Internet to find products, but some are finding that some customers are more willing to shop online than at a pet supply store.
A national survey of pet supply stores conducted by PetSmart found that online sales of pet supplies fell 11 percent in 2015 from 2014, and pet supplies retailer PetSmart has reported a decrease in online sales from nearly 3 percent in 2013 to just 1.7 percent in 2019.
The decline is attributed to several factors, including increased competition, the growing popularity of e-commerce, and a changing consumer culture.
For PetSmart, online sales were down because people were not willing to spend money on pet supplies that they might purchase at a PetSmart store.
PetSmart CEO Kevin Moseley said online shopping is a good option for many people, but he said pet supply shops are increasingly losing out to other sources of revenue.
“We do have some supply shops, like pet supply chains, that are growing and are going to continue to do well, but our pet supply business is on the decline,” he said.
“They’re becoming increasingly dependent on online shopping.
They’re getting their product from a pet shop, which is becoming more and more fragmented, because people are moving to online shopping.”
Mosely said pet supplies have been losing ground to online retailers because consumers are less likely to be prepared to spend a lot of money.
“When you go online, you have the choice of purchasing a product that is more expensive, or buying a product for a certain price,” he explained.
“There is a certain cost to making the decision to go online versus to go to the store.”
Pet supplies are the second-largest category in the supply chain for pet supplies retailers, according to PetSmart.
The second-highest-selling pet supplies category is pet food, which accounted for 23.6 percent of the total sales.
But pet food sales fell 16 percent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.
Many pet supplies manufacturers, such as PetSmart and Pet Nutrition, also offer other products, such a cleaning kit, for animals.
But many of those products are not available for purchase on the Web.
“Pet nutrition, which we sell, is a very difficult product to purchase online,” said Rob Gies, CEO of Pet Nutrition.
“It’s very expensive, it’s not readily available, and the pricing is not consistent with a lot in pet food.”
In 2016, Pet Nutrition sold about $6.5 billion worth of pet food.
Gies said he and PetSmart began investing in online marketing in the summer of 2016, and they’re doing that now.
“A lot of our business is online, and we’re doing it to help us expand our business and help our customers in their decision-making process,” he told CBS News.
Gie said Pet Nutrition has been in the business for 20 years and is in the process of expanding.
“Our goal is to be in a position to offer products and services that are better than any online competitor,” he added.
Many of PetNutrition’s pet food brands are still available on the market, including the Pet Nutrition Catfish and Catfish Goldfish and the PetNut Nutrition Feline Companion.
However, the brand Catfish is not available online.
And the Catfish brand, which sells pet food and pet care products, is no longer available on Amazon.
“At this point in time, Catfish does not make it to the Amazon store,” said Gies.
Gys said PetNut nutrition is in talks with Amazon and will continue to offer Catfish products online.
Pet Nutrition is not the only company that has a difficult time competing in the online pet supply market.
Several pet supplies companies are closing their doors as customers abandon online shopping, and some are also going out of business.
In the pet food category, PetNut is the only Pet Nutrition product that’s still on the marketplace.
And Gies says the company has never been profitable and is closing stores as a result of declining online sales.
“In the pet supply industry, the PetFood brand is the most important brand,” Gies told CBS.
“For us, it was the most valuable brand.
It was the only brand that we sold, and that’s the reason we went out of operation.”
Gies acknowledged that PetNut has a number of online channels, including Amazon Prime, but said it’s time for them to close the channels and focus on growing the Pet Nut brand in the home and garden.
PetNut said it will continue providing a wide variety of products to pet stores in the coming months, including pet foods, grooming products, and more.
PetFood is available for a wide range of pet foods including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and seafood.
The company said it is working to develop new products