I love investing in companies that have strong emotional connections with their customers.
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is a great example. Starbucks has extremely loyal customers because of the warm atmosphere of its cafes, the reliable quality and convenience of its goods, and its emphasis on health and wellness.
Ancestry.com is the same way. The online genealogy service helps people track their family histories with a massive database of personal and public records. Ancestry’s strong connection with its members has driven high renewal and growth rates.
Every company in the world wants a strong emotional connection with its customers, but that type of higher-level relationship is hard to come by — and extremely valuable.
That’s one of the biggest reasons why I like Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS). The largest pet pharmacy in the U.S., PetMed sells prescription and over-the-counter pet medications and other health products for cats, dogs and other pets. But unlike traditional brick-and-mortar pharmacies, PetMed relies exclusively on its websites, television and direct marketing to sell its products.
There are an estimated 165 million dogs and cats in the U.S., and about 62% of U.S. households have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. Spending on pets in the United States reached $53 billion last year, a 6% increase from 2011. Spending on OTC medications showed even faster growth of 7.4%, to $12.7 billion.
And that trend is expected to accelerate.
StreetAuthority analyst Joseph Hogue recently examined how aging baby boomers are expected to drive pet ownership rates: “The need for social involvement and connection leads many to pet ownership. Almost half (46%) of people over 65 have pets. If that percentage holds, by 2030 more than 33 million seniors will be caring for at least one pet.”
That plays perfectly into the hands of Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS), lifting shares to a 32% gain this year and an 85% gain over the past two years. Take a look at the big move below.
|© PetMed Express|
|Although PetMed is still in the early stages of long-term growth, the company is in position to cash in on the bullish trend in pet ownership rates and spending.|
But Petmed Express Inc (NASDAQ:PETS) is still in the early stages of long-term growth. The company is in position to cash in on the bullish trend in pet ownership rates and spending. It also has plenty of room to expand its product portfolio beyond pet medications and chip into the highly lucrative market of PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETM), the pet supplies retailer with a market cap of $7.5 billion. PetMed will also benefit from its delivery services, catering to a demographic of customers with higher discretionary income and limited mobility.