Rite Aid barks up pet goods money tree

Drug retailers are doggedly pursuing the pet care category, with Rite Aid fetching its own piece of the $47.7 billion category, according to the 2009-2010 “National Pet Owners Survey” conducted by the American Pet Products Association.

Occupying nearly 6 ft. in Rite Aid’s newly expanded One Dollar Shop are about one dozen SKUs merchandised in small, cardboard shelf displays, as well as a pegged presentation. The product line, manufactured by Tempe, Ariz.-based FLP, includes squeaker toys, dog treats, rawhide bones, munchee sticks, braided chews, leashes, collars and rope tug toys.

Largely an impulse buy, the category gives the chain store a way to capture the spending dollars of the 62% of households, or 71.4 million homes, that currently own pets, according to the survey. Of these households, the average pet owner spends $40 on toys for his or her dog and $19 for his or her cat annually.

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