During August I presented at the Petfood Forum China in Shanghai. This was my fourth visit to this region, but the first time downtown as the conference was held at the Expo site.
I arrived the week that the stock market crashed in Shanghai although if you read the China Daily you would not have suspected anything important had happened.
As a visitor, if you do not leave the main street you would find retailing to be very sophisticated with global brands and top end merchandising and display. Take a walk in the suburbs and you will see more traditional retailing.
Before the conference I had the opportunity to visit EcoG the main garden retailer in the city. With an urban population and expensive land, setting up a garden centre is challenge, hence this is a unique retail model. For those of you interested in more information on EcoG, read my “Up on the roof” article.
Pet Fair Asia is the type of fair that requires excellent walking shoes. Interesting that there were few overseas businesses exhibiting at the show, I found three American companies, one UK company, one New Zealand business and two Australian, yet this is a big market with cat ownership being the second in the world after the USA and before Russia. It is not a high spend, the biggest spenders are Norway at $53.22 US per head per year, followed by Switzerland at $36.90 and Australia at $31.44,the Chinese are at $0.98, but there are lot of pet owners. Shanghai and Beijing have 29% of the dogs owned in the world.