Another sign of how much the pet industry has grown is the seemingly increasing number of pet vendors at local fairs. Although I don't have any statistics to back it up (us marketing people love stats), based on observation, everywhere I turn, there is someone selling something pet related.
Take for example the Big E (Eastern States Exposition). This yearly event held for two weeks in Massachussets at the end of September represents the states of New England. Every year, I notice more and more displays dedicated to pets. And they all have their own angle, from home made pet treats (I never saw these sold at fairs until recently), to home made pet clothes, to speciality themed pet collars and leashes, there is always something to be found. And, it's not just those dedicated just to pets that are commonly found these days. Even non-pet specific vendors are selling pet products. Stands selling ornaments, stockings, and embroidered towels, and just an example of vendors who are adding pet products to their already large inventory of products.
Other, more localized, smaller fairs are also seeing pet vendors. We generally go to 3 or 4 local fairs a year, and there is always someone selling something pet related. Most of the time, it's the generic stuff found in stores, though other times its items so unique, I need to get an explaination of how it works.
Do these fairs bring in any business for the pet vendors? In speaking to some of them, fairs tend to be hit or miss. At some fairs, people are coming with their pockets full ready to spend on their pets, other times, not so much. However, those with websites say they do get an increase in hits during fall fair season stemming from the tons of fliers and business cards they give out to people.
Whether or not that leads to increased sales, however, is hard to guage. But based on the fact that these pet vendors are everywhere at fairs nowadays, I'm guessing the increased exposure is well worth the time, money and effort.
Everywhere you turn, there is a new pet business popping up.