Pets are increasingly front and center in our lives, and the sheer variety of pet products flooding the market is testament to how much we love to pamper them. Over the past few years, as most other retail categories experienced downturns, pet care witnessed dramatic growth due to a surge in new pet ownership. More than 23 million American households added pets to their homes (nearly 1 in 5) over the course of the pandemic, a number that included the First Family! And with Europeans now raising more pets than children, pet spending has become as much a priority as it would be for any family member. Proud pet parents’ are increasingly splurging on high-grade foods and designer apparel for their domesticated loved ones, inspiring entirely new product categories and prompting retailers to pivot towards these indulgent shoppers. In this rapidly expanding and innovating pet product universe, the task ahead for brands and marketers is knowing where to meet shoppers on their journey, and how to keep them coming back.
Valentino’s Garavani Rockstud Pet project has fashioned a range of accessories that include bags, sweaters, hoodies, collars, leashes and even pet waste-bag holders. The brand partnered with pet influencers to launch its foray into the pet world, with a selection of bags that could be customized with a portrait of any animal by the artist Riccardo Cusimano.