Opening a pet shop franchise: what you need to know

Een franchise van een dierenwinkel openen: wat je moet weten

Developed in a buoyant market, pet shop concepts are popular with pet-loving entrepreneurs. But before embarking on this adventure, it’s important to be aware of some of the particularities associated with this type of business.

Cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, fish and other rodents are a source of joy and emotional support for the whole family, and are present in almost every other household. So it’s only natural that, whether franchised or not, the pet shop sector in France remains a growing, buoyant and flourishing market.

Nearly one in two French households has at least one pet at home, including a large majority of dog and cat owners, who account for over 80% of all pets. For many, these companions are members of the family in their own right: we take care of them, with the desire to offer them the very best so that we can keep them close to us for as long as possible. As a result, quality and even top-of-the-range products, sold by specialists who have made advice their core business, are carving out a choice share of the pet shop market, offering stiff competition to supermarkets and the web.

Nevertheless, with sales expected to reach around 5 billion euros in 2021 in France – up 48% over the last decade thanks to an increase in the number of animals and a move upmarket in products – the pie remains substantial for all players in the sector. It’s interesting to note that three-quarters of this sum is devoted to feed, with the rest divided between equipment, accessories and veterinary products.

Many retailers had already adopted this approach some time ago, but as of January 1, 2024, it’s now official and regulated: dogs and cats are no longer to be found in pet shops. However, it is always possible for the latter to work with associations that take in abandoned animals, whose employees and volunteers can, from time to time, come and present their boarders in the store in order to find them a new home.

NACs – or new pets – are no problem, however: rodents, reptiles, birds, fish and even gallinaceous animals are still sold in pet shops. Please note that, as for dogs and cats, since October 1, 2022, to acquire a ferret or rabbit, you must sign a certificate of commitment seven days before purchase, issued by a person holding the Attestation de Connaissances pour les Animaux de Compagnie d’Espèces Domestiques (ACACED). This measure has been taken to limit impulse buying, which unfortunately often leads to abandonment.

Of course, while dogs and cats are no longer available from pet shops, everything you need to care for them is there, just as it is for our other companions. These can include accessories, toys, equipment, food and dietary supplements, hygiene products and veterinary care.

When it comes to opening a pet shop franchise. In addition to all the usual regulations associated with setting up a business and opening a shop, you need to be aware of certain regulations specific to this sector.

In fact, this opening is subject to a declaration to the DDETSPP, the Departmental Directorate for Employment, Labor, Solidarity and Population Protection, one of whose missions is to guarantee the protection and health of animals.

This declaration is accompanied by an inspection of the premises by a health veterinarian, including verification of safety and accessibility standards, as well as animal comfort and hygiene. Each store must keep a register of carnivorous animal arrivals and departures, which must be kept for three years. This register particularly concerns ferrets, since dogs and cats are no longer sold in pet shops.

As far as the store team is concerned, at least one of its members must benefit from one of the following:

  • a professional certificate,
  • training at an establishment accredited by the French Ministry of Agriculture to acquire skills in the biological, physiological and behavioral needs and care of companion animals,
  • a certificate of competence, representing 14h of training for domestic animals and 14h for non-domestic animals.

Of course, by choosing the franchise model to open a pet shop, the business creator has the advantage, among other benefits, of being guided step by step and supported at every stage of his or her project, an asset not to be overlooked in a particularly regulated market!

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