Pet Supermarket: Strategic expansion in Greece

In Greece, where 50% of families have a pet, the pet industry presents fertile ground for retailers and brands alike. And Pet Supermarket has captured a significant chunk of this market. In 1979, Manos Kapiris opened Manos Pet Market, which was rebranded in 2001 when Kostas Kapiris joined. The family-owned business has grown steadily ever since, mirroring broader trends in the Greek pet market while setting its own course for growth and consumer engagement.

Offline beats online

With 54% of all sales, the dominant channel in Greece is specialty retail, including vets. Around 40% of consumers buy their pet products in supermarkets. Despite the global uptick in e-commerce, Greek pet owners definitely prefer in-store shopping. This emphasizes the value they
place on the expert advice and product buying experience which online platforms cannot yet match.

Meeting business and customer needs

From its start in the city of Piraeus to its current status as a key player in the pet retail sector, Pet Supermarket has evolved on different fronts. With 30,000 SKUs, including exclusive private labels, the company serves a wide spectrum of pet needs through both consumerfacing and B2B channels. Its B2B online store makes it easy for pet shop owners to order a large selection of key European brands. And the 3,500 sqm physical store is Greece’s first and only cash and carry outlet. For consumers, Pet Supermarket has a webshop and 10 big, welcoming retail stores.

Expansion and positioning

Under the leadership of CEO Kostas Kapiris, Pet Supermarket has grown significantly. The company saw 24% revenue growth in 2022 and 35% in 2023. By going from 7 stores in 2023 to between 12 and 17 by the end of 2024, the retailer anticipates 50% growth this year. Retail expansion also reflects a strategic choice to enhance its market footprint and cater to the evolving preferences of Greek pet owners for personal in-store experience. “Greeks love buying in stores. By opening more and more big pet stores, we see an opportunity to grab market share from the supermarket channel. And we’ll clearly establish ourselves as a market leader,” says the 42-year-old CEO. While Pet Supermarket’s main focus will be on strengthening the store network and in-store experience, online sales are another growth area. Although web purchases are currently a smaller portion of its revenue, this will grow in the future.

Differentiating factors

Pet Supermarket has several key strategies that set it apart. First, its product range encompasses items for a wide array of pets with diverse needs. Additionally, the retailer positions its products across various price points: “In Greece, most stores are either focused on offering very premium products, or they position themselves as discount stores. We offer products in all price categories so we can cater to all consumers, regardless of their budget.”

The stores themselves are strategically located in premium areas, accessible by main roads and equipped with ample parking to enhance convenience. Customers are welcomed by a team who are passionate and knowledgeable about pets and offer expert advice.

Seizing opportunities and facing challenges

Pet Supermarket’s ambitious goal is to reach 100 stores in the coming years – a commitment not just to growth but also to enhancing and promoting pet care and ownership across Greece. As the company scales up, maintaining the high level of expertise that customers have come to expect poses a challenge. And it recognizes the importance of a knowledgeable sales team in delivering the value and service that set it apart in the market. So a comprehensive training program is essential to quickly elevate new hires to the company’s standards.

Investment in its loyalty program also reflects a strategic effort to deepen customer relationships and encourage repeat business, an important consideration given the limited growth in online sales. Pet Supermarket’s focus is on its core product offerings and expanding its store network. This is consistent with its goal of providing a wide selection of competitively priced pet products and maintaining its position as a top destination for pet owners.

Our research shows that Greek pet owners prefer to shop in stores. So we’ll focus on this strategy for now,” Kapiris explains.

Product selection

Greek consumers are increasingly choosing specialized food, accessories and products that create a higher level of ‘quality time’ with their pets. So innovative products – e.g. fresh water drinking fountains, interactive toys and massive cat trees – are seeing a surge in consumer spending. Pet Supermarket offers an extensive range of private label products in all categories. “We’ll continue to invest in expanding our private label offerings,” notes Kapiris, adding, “Simultaneously, to ensure our customers have access to the widest and most appealing product selection, we collaborate with established brands and seek new supplier partnerships to maintain top quality.”

Looking forward

As the pet industry continues to evolve, driven by changing consumer preferences and technological advancements, this retailer’s journey offers valuable insights into the dynamics of retail adaptation and customer engagement. With its approach to expansion, product diversity and customer service, the company is well-positioned to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Pet Supermarket’s story is one of strategic growth and a deepseated commitment to serving the needs of pets and their owners in Greece. As the company continues to expand its footprint, its focus on quality, variety and accessibility will be critical in shaping the future of pet retail in the region.