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"Susie Atherton, founder of Pet Industry Retailers, an online networking group, said pet shop owners are cautiously optimistic, despite a gloomy economy.
"Since Americans consider their pets part of the family, they will continue to spend money on them," she said in an e-mail.
Atherton said that while some consumers are cutting back on nonessentials and trading down to cheaper brands, many shops are seeing steady or increased sales in "super premium pet food," treats and toys.Joe Fucini, spokesman for Pet Supplies Plus, a Farmington Hills-based chain of 250 independently owned stores in 22 states, said he believes customers are spending more carefully but will buy high-quality products that last, even if they cost more.
"The upside of the current economic turmoil is that suppliers are more eager to sell and more eager to give you good deals," he said.
The store chain recently surveyed 328 pet owners on its Web site; 93% said it's more fun to shop for pets than family."
News: Spending is strong on premium pet products
According to a recent article in the Detroit Free Press, spending is strong on premium pet food, toys and other products and services. The article states: