South Korean retail conglomerates like CJ, Lotte and Shinsegae are catering more and more for pet owners as market demand grows.
They have opened pet shops that offer products and services ranging from food and grooming services to even lodging for pets. They are also launching their own branded product lines.
Shinsegae International’s household goods brand Jaju has launched its pet product line Jaju Pet, which plans to sell innovative pet products such as its “slow round bowl”, designed to help pets eat their food slowly, and plastic dog-waste bags that can be connected to a dog collar.
E-Mart, Korea’s first discount retail outlet run by Shinsegae, has opened Molly’s Pet Shop with its offering of products and grooming services. It even has its own pet hotel. Since opening at the end of 2010, E-Mart now runs 35 Molly’s stores.
Lotte Department Store opened a pet consulting service dubbed Zipsa in Gangnam in January. The store offers such services as dog-walking or pet-food delivery.
Online shopping malls are also trying to catch some action. GS Shop has launched a “pet zone” on its mobile platform offering services that cater to various stages of a pet’s life cycle, while CJ Mall has its All Pet Club, offering food and clothing products as well as services such as lodging and funerals.
Food companies Binggrae, Dongwon F&B Harim, KGC and Pulmuwon are also launching pet-food brands.
Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says the pet industry has grown by more than 14 per cent on average a year since 2014. The market size was tabulated at KRW2.3 trillion (US$ 2.1 trillion) last year and is expected to surpass the KRW3 trillion won mark this year.
The pet-loving population is estimated to be around 10 million individuals in 4.57 million households. Analysts say that as single or two-person households increase and as the aging population grows, society will see more people raising pets in the future.