Originally published by Don McIntyre, Animal Supply Company’s CEO, on February 6, 2018
What kind of pet industry do we want in 5 years?
We’re one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, so this is a question I’ve considered for quite some time. What I know for sure is that a healthy industry is full of competition. It fuels innovation, stimulates productivity and empowers consumers. So we asked many of our trusted retailers and neighborhood pet shops across the country for their view of the industry and what we could do to help them compete. What came back to us was crystal clear: find a way to help us compete with the mega online retailers.
My team quickly realized that to meet this challenge head-on, we needed to find a way for our retailers to deliver products to consumers’ homes. We needed an innovative partner who could help independent pet retailers go the extra mile for pet families.
Last month, we announced the perfect partner to help our retailers get the job done: Postmates – transforming the way goods move around cities by enabling anyone to have anything delivered on-demand. Their revolutionary Urban Logistics platform connects customers with local couriers who can deliver anything from any store in minutes.
Together, Animal Supply and Postmates are disrupting the status quo to unleash a new, competitive advantage for independent pet retailers. What once seemed complicated and out of reach will now be easy and accessible. Pet families will now have the option to buy local with the convenience of on-demand delivery. Forget about two day or even overnight delivery. We will bring independent pet retailers to the doorstep of pet families in minutes – whenever and wherever they need it.
Beginning this month, and rolling out across the nation (where Postmates is available) in the months that follow, we’ll be talking to our retailers about how this new platform can strengthen their business and bring the best to pets.
A strong industry for pet parents has to include more than Amazon and Chewy or PetSmart and Petco. For brands – especially pet product brands that provide things like grain free, grass fed, wild caught, limited ingredient, paleo, or premium snacks – a thriving independent pet channel is a must for more innovation. And the truth is that this burst of inventiveness, alongside the outright explosion in consumer demand (thanks to millennials), is what has made this industry so fascinating over the last few years.
I know my Westie and Bichon have really enjoyed the inventiveness. Their empty food bowls show it.
As I wrote earlier this month, shopping has evolved. In the last 30 years, technology has become more mainstream and has changed the way we all do business. Another sweeping trend has been the 2-day shipping effect. Consumers want their purchases now, and they don’t want to pay extra for that speed. New research proves this trend, but also shows that 2-day shipping is not good enough. Almost all of today’s consumers (96%) consider “fast” shipping to mean same-day delivery.
Animal Supply has the infrastructure, the brands, the trucks and the people to travel miles to ensure independent pet stores are fully stocked. Add Postmates as our teammate, and together we cover that last mile from stores to customers’ front doors in minutes – not days. With this Animal Supply-Postmates partnership, retailers will be able to exceed expectations and add a new layer of competition to our industry.
Now, that’s a game changer.
Welcome to the team, Postmates. We, our industry, and our pets are excited to have you.