Editorial

Welcome to the new Pet Gazette website

It’s sleek, streamlined and better than ever. I may be biased but I hope you’ll agree that Pet Gazette’s new website is looking stunning. We’re proud to launch the site as the home of breaking news. Our team is busy tracking down the best stories, exciting products and innovations to bring directly to you. Drop in regularly or follow us on twitter (@PetGazette) for all the latest developments in the pet sector.

It’s all about change within the industry this month. Waitrose announced the launch of a new website devoted to pet products. It is the first of the supermarket giants to specialise in this area.

Robert McCarthy, Head of Waitrose Direct Services, has described the site as ‘a convenient one-stop-shop for pets of all ages and breeds’. The company plans to offer advice and product information on specialist foods.

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So, will customers be lining WaitrosePet’s virtual aisles? And, if it’s a success will other large retailers follow suit? It’s too soon to tell. 45 percent of the store’s existing shoppers are already pet owners, so the potential customer base is strong. The company is also offering incentives – discounts on first orders – in an effort to get pet lovers through the doors.

The bigger question is whether WaitrosePet can entice shoppers away from their local stores. Independents may feel no need to worry. Many have devoted followings and it’s hard to overestimate the attraction of trusted advice from a familiar face. Still, members of the trade have begun to respond. Vital Pet Trade has launched an open letter to independent retailers voicing its concerns (visit our online news section to read it in full).

Over the next few weeks Pet Gazette will be canvassing the opinions of people from throughout the trade. For retailers’, manufacturers’ and supermarkets’ reaction to the news, read our November issue.

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