Want a recession-proof business idea? Then take a lesson from Pets at Home – pre-tax profits up 29% in the year to March – who are planning to open another 20 stores this year. It seems customers are buying toys and treats for their pets, but that’s not all:
Sales of fashion lines, such as dog clothing, have also risen as owners, faced with spending more time with their animals, try to spruce up their image, the company said.
Read it and weep! Even in the current financial climate, there are people out there prepared to spend their (presumably) hard-earned cash procuring the product of a third-world sweatshop to decorate a dog.
The RSPCA is concerned that people are ready to give up their pets for the most bizarre reasons. One owner told an inspector: “My cat doesn’t match my new carpet.” Another said: “I’ve just bought a new leather sofa and I don’t want the cat to scratch it.”
The general picture is a depressing one; treating an animal as a fashion accessory, dressing it up for amusement or abandoning it for completely selfish reasons are the acts of a child, unreasoning and irresponsible. Britain is full of them, and retail power is now in their hands.
Will the last grown-up to leave the country please turn out the lights?