Global Pet Food Stores plans expansion in Calgary market

Global Pet Food Stores Inc., which has a chain of stores across Canada and into the United States, is planning an aggressive expansion in the Western Canadian market, including Calgary.

“Western Canada has been the fastest growing portion (of the chain’s expansion) over the course of the last probably 18 months,” said Jim Walker, the company’s president, who was in Calgary on Tuesday.

In Calgary, the company, which specializes in natural and organic foods, opened its latest store on the weekend and now has four in the city as well as two in Airdrie and one in Cochrane.

Walker said the first Calgary store opened just over two years ago in the Marda Loop neighbourhood.

He said the city could see another four, five or six stores within the next 18 months.

Across Canada, the company, based out of Brampton, Ont., currently has 155 stores and two in the United States in Connecticut. It has 15 stores in Alberta.

The company was established in 1976.

Jay de Nance and Michael Kehoe, of Fairfield Commercial Real Estate Inc., are looking for space for the company’s expansion and are also tasked with franchise sales in the West.

“It’s definitely an ultra-competitive market,” said de Nance of the pet food industry.
He said there is a wide array of different types of stores selling similar products in the market but what sets this brand apart is its health focus.

De Nance said the growing popularity in health food for people is being mimicked by those same people when they purchase food for their pets.

The pet food industry is a growing market in Canada.

According to a report in July 2011 by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the overall pet food market in the country jumped from $1.347 billion in sales in 2005 to $1.633 billion in 2010 in US dollars.

The Consumer Trends, Pet Food in Canada report said it’s estimated that 35 per cent of Canadian households owned a cat in 2010 and Canadian cat food sales are expected to grow to $738 million in 2015.
It’s also estimated that 32.3 per cent of Canadian households owned a dog and dog food sales are projected to grow to $1.1 billion in 2015.

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