Consumer Staples

Rising pet ownership encouraged by covid lockdowns sees Woolies eyeing more opportunities

Mon 12 Dec 22, 12:01pm (AEST)
Dog yawning next to a cat in bed
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • The value of pet food and accessories has become a more meaningful bet for publicly listed companies
  • RIsing pet ownership, spurred in part by covid lockdowns, has led to a new enthusiasm for retail spenders willing to dish out more for pets (think: gourmet pet food)
  • PETstock, the company on Woolworths’ radar, an impressive story of persistence, raking in $700m revenue in FY22

Woolworths Group (ASX:WOW) is reportedly seeking to acquire a major stake in unlisted pet food and accessory business PETstock as the former seeks exposure to record high levels of pet ownership encouraged by covid lockdowns. 

Talking dollars and sense:  people spend more on their pets, too. 

This will not be Woolworths’ first foray into the pet-based sector; it already holds a large stake in online retailer PetCulture and offers pet insurance products in a JV with Hollard Group

PETstock, like PetCulture, is dominantly an e-retailer. 

Woolies already a large presence 

By way of being Australia’s most valuable retailer, Woolworths is already a large player in the pet food and accessories market, given that it already has dedicated shelf space for these products in hundreds of stores across the country.

A large investment in PETstock is just the latest deal for Woolworths, who stand to significantly improve the former’s fortunes. 

A long time coming for PETstock

That’s not the say PETstock hasn’t done well in its own 20 year history, recently hitting $700m in sales and $54m in profit (pre-tax) in FY22. 

Profit jumped by over $20m compared to FY21, according to PETstock lodgements with ASIC. 

The online pet food and accessories retailer has been busy acquiring businesses on its own right, buying a company in WA for $31m in July; as well as the east coast’s Best Friends Retail for $180m. 

The shape of Woolworths Group's one year charts
The shape of Woolworths Group's one year charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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