Companies Look To Capitalize On Pet Boom
Americans love their pets. The percentage of U.S. households that own a pet has grown from 56% in 1988 to 67% in 2019, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey. U.S. sales of pet products and services hit a record $95.7 billion last year as it's estimated sales will grow to $99 billion this year, according to the APPA.
Given the amount of money spent on pets each year in the U.S., it's not surprising to see pet-related investments doing well. The ProShares Pet Care ETF, which is an ETF that "allows investors to capitalize on people's passion for their pets," is up well over 100% from its March low and continues to make fresh all-time highs.
With the pet industry booming, the last month has seen a little bit of everything as companies rush to capitalize on the trend.
Walmart launched Walmart Pet Care last month to expand its Pet offerings and give customers a single place to shop for more than 1,800 pet products. Through a partnership with pet insurance provider Petplan, Walmart offers comprehensive pet insurance, while a partnership with Rover allows Walmart customers to book pet care services such as dog-walking and pet sitting.
"We're on a mission to help families live better – and that goes for pets, too," Walmart Pets vice president of merchandising Melody Richard said. "Especially as adoption rates soar as a result of the pandemic, and more people become pet owners, this was the perfect time to launch expanded services in Walmart Pet Care for our customers."
Earlier this month Petco filed an S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to come back to the public markets and trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker WOOF. Petco was previously publicly traded before being acquired by CVC Capital Partners and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board in 2015. Petco has invested $300 million over the last three years to build a veterinary hospital network and an e-commerce site.
Through October of this year, Petco has seen its sales jump by 9% from the same period last year to $3.58 billion. Despite the pandemic, Petco has still managed to see same-store sales increase by nearly 10% this year. The company's turnaround has helped it shrink its net loss by 77% from last year to just over $20 million through October.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that popular pet subscription service BarkBox will go public through a merger with Northern Star Acquisitions Corp. in a $1.6 billion deal.
BarkBox, which was founded in 2012 and has more than one million active subscribers, expects $365 million in revenues for its latest fiscal year ending March 31. BarkBox will use the anticipated proceeds of $454 million to expand internationally and enhance products.
The flood of money into the sector and moves by retailers to expand their pet offerings should continue as pet ownership is unlikely to decline anytime soon.
Coinbase files for IPO. Coinbase, which is the largest digital currency exchange in the U.S., announced it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Coinbase, which didn't disclose details of the upcoming offering, files to go public as cryptocurrencies continue to surge in price, in particular bitcoin, which surged to a new all-time high above $23,000 yesterday.
Walmart and TikTok team up. Walmart is holding a livestream today on TikTok where users can purchase items from its Walmart fashion line. Walmart is teaming up with some of TikTok's top creators for the "shoppable livestream," which is the first of its kind on TikTok. "We're constantly looking for ways to innovate the shopping experience for our customers," Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer William White wrote. "We're moving faster than ever to find new and improved ways to better serve our customers and meet them where they are."
GM invests more into Yoshi. General Motors' venture capital arm is leading a $23 million Series B funding round in vehicle maintenance startup Yoshi, marking GM's second investment in the company. Yoshi was founded in 2015 and has since expanded beyond fuel delivery to other services such as oil changes, car washes and windshield treatments. Yoshi, which is available to the public in Los Angeles, Houston, Nashville and the San Francisco Bay Area, lets users pay per individual service or sign up for a monthly plan.
Google gains EU approval for Fitbit deal. The European Commission has conditionally approved Google's planned $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit as it has laid out a number of guidelines Google must follow over the next ten years, such as not using Fitbit data for advertising. "We can approve the proposed acquisition of Fitbit by Google because the commitments will ensure that the market for wearables and the nascent digital health space will remain open and competitive," European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager said.
Poshmark files to go public. Poshmark, which is an online market for second-hand clothing, filed to go public yesterday as it revealed it has seen a surge in use amid the pandemic. Poshmark reported revenues grew by 28% to $192.8 million through the first nine months of this year, compared to $150.5 million during the same period last year. After reporting a loss of $33.9 million through the first three quarters of last year, Poshmark swung to a profit of $20.9 million during the same period this year. Poshmark will list on the Nasdaq and trade under the ticker POSH.