Andrew Geere is CEO of the UK-based Accapi Group, the exceptional distributor of American emblem Ruffwear’s products in Europe. Ruffwear’s said the venture is ‘to build performance products to beautify and inspire outside adventures for puppies and their human companions.’ That’s a neat inversion of the conventional take concerning dog partners and a reflection of the emblem’s rather quirky man or woman obvious on its website.
Eavesdropping on a product presentation, he turned into making to stores from Iceland at an exchange display, brought about locating out more approximately what, at first glance, seems a spot product location. According to the European Pet Food Industry Federation, the dog population in Europe stands at around 85 million, with 21% of European families proudly owning a canine. The annual price of pet-associated services and products in 2018 stood at around €7 billion, in step with PETS International. Studies with the Outdoor Recreation Network aid indicate that 50% of exterior visits are made with dogs.
It turned into the combination of seasonal recommendations from countrywide park authorities regarding puppies and farm animals inside the nation-state plus a recent seminar, organized by way of the Outdoor Recreation Network, with the subject matter ‘People & Dogs within the Outdoors’ that become the spur to discover how Accapi became developing enterprise in this evolving out of doors category.
Accapi began working with Ruffwear within the UK most effective in 2010; it now has distribution in 31 international locations and has loved a usual growth price of 17.5% CAGR. Outside the United Kingdom, Germany is its most powerful marketplace with 24.Five% CAGR. I met with Geere to find out more about business in Europe.
Andrew Geere: Our customers enjoy energetic activities, together with hiking, walking, cycling, or snowboarding; they care approximately the environment, and their canine is very much ‘one of the family.’ They’re inquisitive about tools that help them revel in outside pursuits with their canine with purchases that can be pushed by using great features. Plus, they’re keen to share their adventures with their canine accomplice on social media
Traynor: Are there regional variations in the products that shops order?
Genre: Climate and geography affect purchases. Central Europe buys throughout the variety even as the Nordic location tends toward backpacks, harnesses, and boots. Unsurprisingly, in addition to harnesses, Southern Europe is powerful in cooling products. There are also versions on color preference from the marketplace to the marketplace.
Traynor: How do you help in-shop income?
Genre: We have a launch package deal which includes branded factor-of-sale substances, a remarkable online asset library presenting lifestyle and product pictures, joint investment in advertising interest, social media campaigns (#mydogismy), product education brought inside two weeks of receiving inventory plus an ongoing evaluation of the way the product is operating. Improvement is a new European website to proportion the tale with a much wider target market.
Traynor: How is business in Eastern Europe?
Genre: With many unbiased stores and a large dog population, it represents an actually increased opportunity for us. However, it’s nonetheless early days in the improvement of the ‘pet humanization’ fashion visible in the west, humanization results in ‘premiumization’ that’s incredible for our commercial enterprise.
Traynor: How do doors outlets advantage from stocking Ruffwear?
Genre: This new product class lets them promote more to existing purchasers and draw new ones with steady year-spherical sales. Stock is available right away, there’s low preliminary funding needed to begin the class, ahead orders are not needed, and repeat orders are delivered within days in Central Europe. Our ‘Trail Tested Promise’ is an established no-quibble assurance program – the only factor no longer protected is chewing!
Having heard from one facet of the economic courting, a quick virtual tour around Europe supplied perception into how puppies equipped into the outside retail scene. First up changed into Tuija Pellikka, manager of the canine sports activities department at Finland-based Varuste. Internet, who informed me,
Customers can now get quite a lot of everything for outside lifestyles from here and additionally for their dogs. From our point of view, it’s far best herbal that we serve outdoor people in this subject. Because, howdy, why on this planet might you go away your canine out of the adventures? People who are into the exterior are frequently additionally very satisfactory conscious. You wouldn’t choose a backpack that rubs you, so you want to make certain that also your hairy accomplice walks insecure equipment. It is an issue of functionality and safety. Although looking right on the equal time in no way harmed anybody!”
Retail-wise, in our chain, Ruffwear is a brand new line of merchandise. However, we see it’s far pretty thrilling and probably essential within the destiny. We are a specialized doors retailer, and we see a developing interest of puppy owners, who are frequently within the outdoors to percentage their sports with their pets. Regular pet shops could commonly not cross for high-quality merchandise. At least now not as in line with the mountain climbing equipment standards, so it appears we might be the proper region for such products. Also, a thrilling point is normally pet owners who go to the mountains are pretty energetic on social media – so it also drives our typical exposure as a retailer.”