Know the Numbers: Inside the WPA Retail Report

Did you experience sales growth of at least 7.2% in 2015? Or net sales of $900,000? Many of your competitors did—according to the 2016 World Pet Association Retail Operating Performance Report. With pet industry revenue expected to top $62 billion in 2016—an increase of more than 4% over 2015—there’s money to be made if you’re strategic and savvy. One strategy that leads to success: Know the numbers.

When it comes to insight into industry stats, World Pet Association (WPA) has pet retailers covered with the WPA Retail Report. An easy-to-read inside look at the pet retail industry, the report presents a detailed overview of the current competitive climate and allows businesses to benchmark their own data against competitors. The 100+ respondents—representing a broad spectrum of pet businesses—reported:

  • Median net sales of $900,000 and average net sales of $3,120,759
  • Net profit before taxes of 5.0% (up from 4.4% last year)
  • Sales growth of 7.2% during 2015
  • Forecasted 2016 sales growth of 9.5%

Understanding how you match up against these financial, operating and sales metrics is key for keeping your retail operation strong in a changing business climate. The numbers may feel overwhelming, but if you break your analysis into a few manageable pieces, you’ll soon be realizing new opportunities for growth:

  1. Identify. Where do your numbers differ from those of the rest of the pet industry? There may be areas you are tracking higher (way to go!) and other areas where comparatively, you may be struggling. You may be surprised what your strengths and weaknesses are —but you can never know without looking at the numbers.
  2. Plan. Armed with information on your strengths and weaknesses, determine a specific goal for your operation and map out specifically how you can make improvements over the next year. This may take the form of more employee education, shifting marketing spend to other platforms, or maybe adding to, removing or revamping a key product section in your store. The more detailed and realistic your plan is, the easier it will be to reach your goal.
  3. Implement. Keep your goal in mind all year by evaluating the specific changes you’ve implemented each month. What’s working? What isn’t? Do your employees fully understand what you’re trying to do? Major shifts in your operations won’t happen overnight so keep your goals in mind as you continuously better your business all year round.
  4. Evaluate. At the end of the year, take a look back at your problem areas. Did you reach your goal? Fall short? What parts of your plan worked? What didn’t? And finally, are your numbers now on track with (or better than!) other businesses in the pet industry?

Successful pet businesses don’t happen overnight. Get the research you need to produce the results you want. Know the numbers—benchmark your business with your competitors and start taking steps for the best year you’ve ever had.