The Hungarian edition of the renowned Forbes Magazine has recently published an article about the AlphaZoo pet-shop chain.
With its 47 own shops and further 27 ones that are operating within a franchise system, as a massive warehouse of 7000 sqm, AlphaZoo is the second largest player in the several ten billion HUF strong Hungarian pet market. The company was established in 1998, but the idea dates to 1993. Ever since, the development has been continuous, one of the reasons of which is the Hungarians’ infinite love for pets. “52 percent of the households have at least a dog or a cat, sometimes even two” – explains Gábor Zsigmond, one of the managing directors of Alpha-Zoo.
The trends are in line with that world-wide: on one hand the prudent care for animals, along with their humanization, i.e. treating them as family members. Zoltán Czibula, the other MD adds: “On the other hand, more and more city dwellers decide for pets who are willing to spend on them.”
Crises can hardly affect this business; one can easily anticipate the next ten years with an annual CAGR of around five percent. The COVID pandemic didn’t slow down the development either. During the lockdown online shopping intensified and squirreling pet-food wasn’t rare either.
Alpha-Zoo is happy to sign franchise agreements with any pet shop that has a decent potential. However, many don’t like the idea of sacrificing their independence, and they find AlphaZoo’s conditions too stringent. The question is whether they will survive the ever-toughening competition on their own? According to Gábor, who has been observing the Western-European development for a while, the big chains mercilessly swallow up the small-scale stores. One would find similar signs in the Hungarian market too. Joining a franchise system has several advantages, such as lower purchase prices.
AlphaZoo’s plans endorse strong confidence: Expanding up to 180-200 shops in the country.