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Pets Place targets the Belgian online market

The webshop is expected to generate a turnover of approximately four million euros in the first year. The pet store is also considering opening physical stores over time.

Belgian pet owners have been able to order Pets Place products via Bol.com for two years now. “Since this collaboration, our total online sales have increased by a factor of nine,” said Ard Malenstein, CEO of IJsvogel Retail to which Pets Place belongs. About fifteen percent of this growth is due to sales to animal lovers from Belgium. ‘An extension to our southern neighbors was therefore a logical choice for us. Belgians are used to shopping on foreign websites. Moreover, Belgian e-commerce is still lagging somewhat behind the Dutch online market, which means that there are relatively few other providers in our sector. We saw our opportunity and decided to respond to this with our own webshop. ‘

Rising turnover
The expansion across the border is in line with the current success of the pet store. Pets Place expects a total turnover of around 250 million euros in 2020, including the turnover of the wholesaler. A lot higher than last year’s 180 million. The prognosis for the new Belgian webshop is that a turnover of approximately four million will be realized in the first year. Together with sales via bol.com, this will ensure a total turnover of ten million euros in Belgium. After Belgium, Pets Place will explore the possibilities for a further European rollout.

‘Technically, the new site is running properly, we just have a small language barrier,’ says Malenstein. ‘Even though the two languages ​​are very similar, we can imagine that in Flemish some names for our products differ slightly from Dutch. We are gradually going to Flemishize those texts. ” For the sake of speed, it was decided to launch the website in Dutch first. Malenstein explains that this is part of the way Pets Place does business and sees it as one of the reasons for their success. “Despite our size and position as the Dutch market leader, we really still think with a young dog mentality. We are a dynamic company and like to lead the way. We don’t want to wait for a startup to try it out first. ‘

Corona drives growth
Since the corona crisis, the pet store has grown even faster than before. Before the crisis, the first months of 2020 were already plowed by twelve percent. ‘In March, just after the lockdown took effect, we even saw online sales double at peak times. Just like in the supermarket, people also started hoarding their pet food, ‘explains the CEO. ‘We are now cumulatively at 25 percent. Because of corona, many people have taken pets, which is one of the reasons for this significant increase. ‘

The number of sales in physical stores and online is close to each other. ‘People work a lot from home and therefore want to take a break. That is why the turnover of the stores continues to run smoothly. Older people order more online, young people more often buy in the store, although they continue to do their research online. The most visited page on our website remains the store finder. The increase confirms for us that our omnichannel strategy is working, ‘says Malenstein. We try to get the best out of the combination of physical stores and online sales channels. ‘
(PvWK, image: Chevanon Photography / Pexels)

About Pets Place
Pets Place is part of IJsvogel Retail, market leader in pet shops in the Netherlands. The company has 175 pet stores across the country. In 67 stores in the south of the Netherlands, Pets Place is under one roof with Boerenbond, also part of IJsvogel Retail. In addition, the company has a wholesaler and a very fast-growing webshop. Last year, the company’s consumer turnover rose to more than 180 million euros. The turnover of the wholesaler was 45 million, which when converted to consumer turnover yielded another 100 million euros. Pets Place, whose head office is located in Ede, has approximately 1,200 employees. ‘

(source: Pets Place)

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