Pets are proving one of the key beneficiaries of increased disposable income levels on the mainland, with owners ever more willing to spend on customised grooming and specialist foods. Demand, however, is rapidly outstripping supply.
One of the more unlikely beneficiaries of increased levels of disposable income across the mainland has been the pet grooming business. This has seen owners pursue ever more outlandish, expensive and tailored looks for their pets, including specially-made nameplates and outfits that match their own.
While summer is traditionally considered the low season for the pet grooming business, this has not been the case in 2014. Visits to a number of Beijing pet shops have uncovered a thriving scene, with many owners only too keen to give their pets a seasonal new look.
Typifying their requests was one customer who visited a pet shop in Beijing’s Haidian district. The store manager said: “The owner of a ‘teddy bear’ dog came in recently and asked if we could trim his pet’s hair to match his own. This is very much in keeping with the more sophisticated requests we get these days. At one time we provided very much of a stranded, traditional service, but now many clients have their own ideas about the styles they want.”
Such requests seemed to reach something of a fever pitch during the recent World Cup. This saw a number of grooming salons asked to transform pets into appropriate “mascots’ for the fans of various teams, complete with al, the necessary perms, fur trims and hair dyes. Other items said to be particularly popular with clients include Chinese lotus flowers and elements of Japanese style.
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