Paws Holdings Ltd (PAWS), the online dog and cat wellbeing business operating in the UK and Continental Europe under the Pet-Supermarket.co.uk, PetMeds.co.uk and Medicanimal.com brands, announced the acquisition of a further brand, fetch.co.uk (FETCH), which is currently owned by Ocado Retail.
This acquisition represents a significant step in PAWS’ strategy to become the number one dog and cat wellbeing business within the very resilient and growing sector of pet parenting.
The recent pandemic has caused a significant shift in consumer spending from the high street to online providers across retail, and the pet market is no exception. PAWS believe that consumer spend that has shifted online will remain online, even after the pandemic has ended because customers will have become accustomed to the range of choice, the convenience of home delivery, and the authority and specialism that sites such as those operated by PAWS can offer.
The FETCH acquisition will mean that PAWS will become a significant player in the European online market for cat and dog owners, who currently spend over €41 billion per year on caring for their pets. PAWS will have in the region of 500,000 customers with a combined pro forma turnover in excess of £55m.
The terms of the acquisition are being kept confidential.
Commenting on this announcement Graham Coxell, Chairman of Paws Holdings Ltd (pictured above), said:
“Given the last year, it has become more obvious than ever the positive role that our pets play in supporting our wellbeing. The UK in particular is known to be a nation of dog and cat lovers, and we know that our customers are looking for a friendly, well-informed online community that will allow them to offer the best nutrition, healthcare and advice they can find. By bringing FETCH into the PAWS family we will become a business of sufficient scale to disrupt a market that is currently dominated by players who are only interested in shifting as much food as profitably as possible, regardless of whether this is the best food for the dog or cat that it is being bought for. We think our customers, who see their pets as part of their families, want and deserve more than that. As pet lovers ourselves, we are delighted to be embarking upon this journey, now with FETCH, to provide what will become the most personalised dog and cat parenting ‘best friend for life’ support.”
Commenting on this announcement Mel Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail Ltd said:
“While today’s announcement marks the end of our involvement with Fetch, a part of Ocado since 2014, we are delighted it is joining the PAWS family. We believe they will be the best long-term owner of Fetch and are impressed by the scale of ambition at PAWS as it seeks to scale its business. I would like to personally thank all our Fetch colleagues for their hard work and commitment over the years and wish them all the best for the future.”