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Birding - one more way to spend your money


Posted At: 05 July 2011 16:16 PM
Related Categories: General, Social Commentary


Possibly a bit of news you’ve missed…. Retailers are reporting bird supply prices rising as much as 100% over the last year. And according to the folk on the telly, over 50% of households feed garden birds. So that’s where we’re disposing of our income!

Even though the market for supporting our little feathered friends may be somewhere in the region of £200m, it’s still affected by the same issues which trouble the high street retailers: sourcing (wrong kind of climate to grow some types of bird food); use of food crops for Bio-fuels; increased demand from emerging economies are all to blame for a steep rise in prices.

Birding* is not peculiar to the UK. A recent US study shows their citizens have also taken birding under their wing (lame!), with it being the 2nd most popular outdoor leisure pursuit. It is thought that 7% of US pet store sales are from bird food and supplies.

One might not consider garden wildlife as pets, but Pets at Home along with garden centres have picked up on the consumer demand and sell a wide range of bird accessories from seeds and treats to feeders and boxes. Gone are the days of your standard net or wire birdfeeders, now you can delight the tweethearts in your life by placing their food on something that wouldn’t look out of place in a modern sculpture gallery and can set you back more than £20.

SnapShop blog - birding provides revenues

This must be one of a number of ways Pets at Home were growing their sales last year. Results announced in January of this year saw a revenue increase of £63m (+15.8%) for the year ending March 2010. But is it sustainable this year? To track the financial health of retailers, subscribe to SnapShop, or see a global overview on the FSP Accounts Barometer.

*Birding – noun: the identification and observation of wild birds in their natural habitat as a recreation; bird-watching.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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