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updated 21/9/01

Significant changes in the pet industry

The Pet Care Trust has licensed its successful trade show, Pet Index, to Trade Promotional Services, a company owned by the media conglomerate EMAP.

The Pet Care Trust has, as its members, pet retailers, manufacturers, groomers, boarding kennel owners and wholesalers, while many breeders are affiliated to the organisation via Puppyindex, the scheme that puts breeders directly in touch with prospective owners via pet shops. The Trust (formerly the Pet Trade and Industry Association before its constitution was revised three years ago to create a charitable trust) represents the domestic pet sector to government, local authorities and various other non-governmental organisations such as charities (the PCT Trust is the Treasurer of National Pet Week for instance), colleges and pet care agencies.

Since the amalgamation of the two pet trade shows that existed 12 years ago, Pet Index was run as a joint venture and went from strength to strength until 1998 when support from the industry in the face of company amalgamations, the impact of the Internet and a more direct sales approach by large companies led to a gradual down turn in rented space and the number of visitors. This trend was reversed last year when the Pet Care Trust ran the event itself, but it was clear to the board that the task was very demanding for a relatively small organisation and that its value could be enhanced if run by a professional trade show company.

In 2002 Pet Index will be held at GLEE; this is the International Garden and Leisure Exhibition staged at the National Exhibition Centre in September each year and one of the largest trade exhibitions in the UK. This year there are 750 exhibitors and it occupies halls one to five at the NEC - the same area as Crufts but without the judging rings, benches and events rings. Next year, with the addition of Pet Index, it will take over hall six as well.

Nick Grierson of the Pet Care Trust was very happy with the outcome of the negotiations. "This is tremendous opportunity for all those involved in supplying and servicing the needs of pet owners," he said. "It will enable new products to be seen more easily and give increased exposure to manufacturers because a much wider spectrum of retailers visit GLEE than were able to come to Pet Index when held on its own".