People love their pets. Whether we look to our furry friends for unconditional love or companionship, pet ownership is at an all-time high. That means pet franchise businesses are booming. Based on research from the American Pet Products Association, about 85% of American families own some sort of pet. In 2020, adoptions soared as people looked to ease the loneliness of quarantines and social distancing.

That trend went beyond the household as well. Bird feeding became a hobby for many Americans, who were able to experience not only the connection with nature but a familiarity with their backyard birds who returned time and again.

Why is this important? In psychological studies, researchers found pet owners benefited from companionship and “unconditional love” from their pets. Those connections were especially helpful for people living alone. Studies also found that people with pets made social connections with strangers out in public and were more likely to have positive interactions with family and friends.

Pets, whether those indoors or outdoors, have a calming effect through increasing joy and happiness and reducing stress. Many Wild Birds Unlimited retail customers compare watching their backyard birds at their feeder to the calmness of watching an aquarium.  It takes them to a place of calmness and serenity. Because of these positive benefits, pet owners drove an increase in trips to pet stores. Bottom line–owning a franchise accommodating these animal lovers is a lucrative investment.

Crunching the numbers, the pet industry as a whole is valued at just under $100 billion, with the largest expense being food and treats. Globally the pet care market is worth $190 billion, with the U.S. being the largest segment at an anticipated five percent annual growth rate through 2025.

Let’s take a deeper look at why Wild Birds Unlimited owners see the idea of bringing people and nature together as both a company-wide mission and a reliable business opportunity.

Pros and Cons

This all looks good on paper. Franchises catering to pets and animals are lucrative, this market has had a recent surge and shows stable growth—all pros. But it’s becoming incredibly competitive. You must provide a product or service that stands out to get attention from consumers in a crowded marketplace. Competition is a good thing, it helps drive commerce, but you need a strong model with great marketing to be seen above the crowd.

Brand stability and a solid reputation is key to longevity in this industry. People care deeply about their pets and want the best for them. Often brands can receive bad press with food recalls or negative practices. It is vital to your investment to thoroughly study a franchise before partnering with them.

Pet Stores Franchises

If you are considering owning a pet store franchise it is big business and highly competitive. Experts say recent growth is predominantly benefitting big name brands. Based on information from the IFA (International Franchise Association) and franchise researchers, there are several pet franchises in this growing industry.

From doggie daycare and grooming franchises to big box brands that sell pet foods and toys, it’s no secret that there are multiple paths to success in the space, because customers are willing to visit a variety of stores to find the products that make the most sense for their pets.

Choosing a Pet Franchise

If you want to know how to choose a pet franchise, study the industry and your community. What are the trends? Perhaps it’s all about producing organic pet food or providing grooming services. Find the need and follow the demand. Determine what you can provide that is different and stands out among the competition.

Know your own budget. There are franchises available at every price point. Determine what you can afford and what the return on your investment will be. You will want to know how quick the ramp up is to discover the timeline to potential profit-making.

Do the research, narrow your options then study what the franchise offers. You want a franchise that has a proven and successful model, a solid brand name, an effective marketing strategy, training, on-going support and is dedicated to your success.

You want to be unique. Find a franchise that provides a niche opportunity and sets you apart in the marketplace.

What’s Better?

Wild Birds Unlimited has found that unique niche. We serve animal and nature lovers as the leading wildlife and retail franchise for bird feeding and supplies. We’ve served our local communities for 40 years and now have over 350 locations as a trusted brand name.

We’ve made it our mission to bring joy into our customers’ lives by sharing our passion for birds and knowledge about the hobby of backyard bird feeding. Proving that what brings you joy can also bring about a career, this industry has seen strong growth. As an example, currently more than $5 billion is spent annually on birdseed and wildlife food.

And the industry is seeing even more growth. When people turned to animals to help them get through the stress of the Covid-19 Pandemic, that included the wildlife industry. Never before did people enjoy the stress-relieving impacts of bird-watching and bird-feeding. We were able to provide that service to our growing customer base as we maintained easy ordering and pick-up and renovation of our ecommerce to meet our customer needs. Building a strong customer experience builds brand loyalty.

Not only do we provide a great service as a pet franchise, but as a franchisee with Wild Birds Unlimited, you receive best-in-class training along with operational and marketing resources to help you realize your dream of owning a successful bird franchise.

Check out our application on our website to find out more about our lucrative pet franchise opportunity. We’d love for you to come fly with us and join our flock. Let’s get started.