Australian pet brand Petstock plans aggressive expansion in NZ

TAO LIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Petstock is making the most of the growth in New Zealanders' love of pets.

One of Australia's leading pet retail companies has crossed the ditch and has plans to grow aggressively.

Petstock is a family-owned business with more than 100 stores across Australia and four stores so far in New Zealand.

It launched here in June 2015, when it acquired two Petmarket stores - one on Constellation Drive on Auckland's North Shore and the other in Cambridge.

Petstock New Zealand country manager Aaron Waters has worked in the pet retail industry for 10 years.
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Petstock New Zealand country manager Aaron Waters has worked in the pet retail industry for 10 years.

It then bought Four Seasons Pets in Auckland's Glenn Innes and Takapuna last September.

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The next store, based in the Auckland suburb of New Lynn, is due to open in late May or early June.

The DIY dog wash at Petstock Constellation Drive on Auckland's North Shore is especially popular because of the store's ...
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The DIY dog wash at Petstock Constellation Drive on Auckland's North Shore is especially popular because of the store's close proximity to the beach.

Country manager Aaron Waters says the burgeoning pet industry is what brought the Australian business to New Zealand.

"We were growing rapidly in Australia and thought our competitors were growing well in New Zealand so there was a good market opportunity here," he said.

Research from Roy Morgan showed almost 60 per cent Kiwis (2.1 million people) own at least one cat or dog and 15 per cent of cat or dog owners pay for pet care services in an average month.

It also seems that cats truly rule in New Zealand, with 45 per cent, or 1.6 million Kiwis owning cats while 3.1 per cent have dogs.

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More than 18 per cent can't make up their minds and have at least one of each.

Kiwis' incredible love for their four-legged family members is evident in the "massive" premiumisation of pet food, where pet food companies that produce organic, higher quality and apparently healthier grub dominate pet stores, Waters says.

'I guess we've evolved from a farmer having a dog on the back of a ute throwing them a couple of Tux bikkies every day to actually thinking about what we feed our pets and the nutritional value of that," he says.

Along with pet food, Petstock also provides a DIY dog wash facility, dog grooming service and puppy training school in its stores

At the Constellation Drive store, there is also a full service vet clinic - the first, but not last, in the country.

Waters says along with "aggressive" growth of stores this year, the company is also planning on rolling out more vet clinics.

 - Stuff

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