Inflation also hits pet stores

RALEIGH, NC — Inflation has hit a 40-year high as soaring prices hit consumers.

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Inflation hit 9.1% in June, highest in a year

Pet store co-owner says it affected his channel

JP Phinney runs the Unleashed Dog and Cat store with his wife Amy

The June consumer price index showed a 9.1% increase from a year ago.

This impacts everything from groceries to gas prices. If you have pets, you’ve probably noticed that their food, toys, and treats are also more expensive.

The Unleashed Dog and Cat Store co-owner said each of their locations in North Carolina has felt the brunt of inflation.

“A lot of foods, in terms of what we’re talking about, which is how inflation is affecting us today, we would typically get maybe a price increase every month or so until in 2021,” said JP Phinney.

That hasn’t been Phinney’s theme since the start of the new year.

“In the first half of 2022, our manufacturers notified us on average about 10 per week throughout the year of price increases they need to implement,” Phinney said.

Phinney and his wife Amy came up with the idea for a line of pet stores. In 2007 they opened their first store.

“We are very selective about the brands we sell. All of our brands are made in the country,” he said, pointing to a row of dog food.

Phinney says that hasn’t changed. The price of products on the shelves a.

“We try to be as affordable as possible across all of our brands,” he said.

But when manufacturers increase the price of goods, the cost of what is offered to customers also increases.

“It started to slow down in June, but it seemed like between January and April, I think every manufacturer that we sell in our store experienced an increase in raw material prices for one reason or another,” he said. -he declares.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that food, for humans and animals, was affected.

Phinney said fuel prices are also impacting their business. If manufacturers spend more on gas to supply their storage, Phinney said that’s reflected in their inventory at stores.

“If they pay more for logistics, they have to raise their prices,” he said.

He said they charge something called the minimum advertised price across all of their 10 stores. Which happened at a rate he says he’s never seen before.

Some dog food brands are up 15%. He said it matters less for small sizes than for big bags. A pet owner can pay up to $80 for larger bags depending on the manufacturer.

“Fifteen percent is a pretty big increase,” he said.

This may mean a change in food depending on what the customer can now afford. Even toys are more expensive.

The discount toy bin at each of their stores was filled with items costing no more than $3.

“We always had what we call the $3 bin in stores, and it was always possible to find toys that looked like closeouts or offseason. We were able to fill the bin so the animals could have lots of little ones (toys), and it didn’t matter if they tore them up,” he said.

Now the price of each stuffed animal in this bin is $5. The store owner said it was the clearest example of inflation in the store.

“This year, it has become absolutely impossible to keep toys in this bin. That was the biggest challenge because if we tried to keep it at $3 it would be empty, we had to get rid of it,” he said.

All is not catastrophic.

“I don’t feel like we lost any business,” he said.

He said they still had customers coming through the door…whether on two feet or four.