Santa Paws is coming to Sainsbury’s

In time for the festive season, British retailer Sainsbury’s has launched an extended range of private brand pet products. The retailer is expecting sales of dog toys to double in December compared with previous months as customers put presents under the Christmas tree for their four-legged friends.

With over half (53%) of Sainsbury’s shoppers owning a pet, the retailer is looking to get its paws on a piece of the UK’s £4.4 billion pet market.

For the first time, Sainsbury’s has launched a private brand line of mince pies for dogs. The products are part of a 13-strong line-up of pet-friendly Christmas meals and treats available in over 300 stores across the UK. Other festive foods for pets include Christmas pudding biscuits for dogs and turkey mousse for cats. Sainsbury’s expects a third of customers buying these products to be giving them as gifts for pets of friends and family.

The retailer’s Tu clothing private brand is also offering Christmas sweaters for dogs for first time this year, both in-store and online.

For customers looking for a wider choice of pet presents and treats, Sainsbury’s has launched a trial of Pet Hubs in 20 supermarkets. Launched in time for Christmas, they will offer customers a choice of pet products and brands they could previously only find in pet specialists and vet surgeries.

The trial will bring customers with cats, dogs and small animals including rabbits, birds and fish an extended range of pet food, accessories and specialist health & hygiene brands in a convenient supermarket setting. Over 100 new lines will be added to the range, including Petface, Frontline and Lintbells.

The Pet Hubs will feature improved and distinctive layouts making it even easier for customers to shop by pet type and product range. One of the trial stores will also feature an Argos Pay@Browse station, offering customers a convenient way to browse and buy Argos’s broad range of pet products, from smart pet tech to cat flaps, carriers and crates.

Initial customer feedback on the pet hubs has been positive, with customers enjoying the convenience of being able to pick up their favorite pet care products as well as their grocery shop under one roof. If the trial proves successful Sainsbury’s will take the proposition to more stores as well as online.

Sam Burston, Director of Grocery at Sainsbury’s said, “Christmas is a family time and we know that our customers see their pets as a treasured part of their family. Our mission is to make our customers’ lives as easy and convenient as possible; by bringing more fun pet toys and treats to our stores customers can now buy gifts for the whole family under one roof.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.