February 01, 2014 00:00 By The Nation 3,414 Viewed
'Sketch' line of premium outfits, expects good sales in Year of the Horse
Doodletons & Friends, a producer and distributor of clothing and accessories for dogs, has launched a new product line that it says combines functionality and trendy design while protecting the canine wearer’s health. The company expects 20-per-cent sales growth this year.
The company’s new “Sketch” line will be offered to injured dogs in animal hospitals as well as in the general pet market.
“The pet-supply business in Thailand has grown continuously,” managing director Ketkhanee Suyanand said. “A significant change in pet owners’ behaviour today is that they take care of their dogs just like family members. Therefore, the need for clothes and accessories for their little ones is increasing, as they want their dogs to look good, feel good and be healthy.
“As a result of that, they want the best of everything for these little cute ones.
“Over the past years, we have seen that there were a lot of opportunities, especially in the premium clothing segment, for dogs, as there are not too many competitors here. And as I have experience in the international fashion market, I think it will be a great opportunity for the brand to focus on producing premium clothing and accessory products for dogs.
“By taking inspiration from people’s clothes, we launched a premium clothing brand called Doodletons in 2009. Each [step] of our production process was done with attention to every detail. Next up, we launched Sketch to add a new line of accessories for dogs.
“The concept of the brand is to combine great design to best functional use with care for the little ones’ health and development. We have a veterinarian team as our consultants in developing each product. For Sketch, we have dog accessories including collars, leashes, backpacks, bowls and cushions.
“I want to see my dog wearing stylish clothes. And at the same time, it is practical for daily use and a perfect fit for its body. Personally, I think having your dog get dressed up reflects the taste and lifestyle of the owner too. A dog is part of our lives, so … dogs deserve the same things as what we want for ourselves. If we want to dress up nicely, the dog should get dressed up nicely too,” she said.
Ketkhanee said Doodletons & Friends had expanded into the business-to-business segment as a consultant to a number of real-estate companies on condominiums, hotels or resorts that are designed to be pet-friendly, in order to provide more convenience to dog owners.
“The market for goods and services for dogs was worth around Bt20 billion in 2012,” she said. “Of the total market, foods and desserts for dogs took the biggest share with a Bt10-billion market value, while clothing products took a market share of Bt7 billion.
“You can see that the clothing segment is very large and more opportunities lie there. For Doodletons & Friends, we have focused on premium customers and received an overwhelmed welcome, with a sales increase of 10-30 per cent. We are now planning to expand our customer base and come up with more new lines of products, both for individual consumers and for clients in the B2B segment. And we are very open for new business opportunities from every industry.”
Ketkhanee believes that this market will continue to grow significantly regardless of how the economy performs. That is because people do not raise their dogs as pets but rather as members of their family. So basically, when they choose clothes or accessories for their dogs, they are serious about their design and quality, as their choices will reflect their own personalities and taste.
With this behavioural change from choosing things just for their functional use to finding the best available, the company believes it has a lot more to do when it comes to offering products to customers. Research and studies are needed to realise the best benefits that can be offered to both dogs and owners, particularly functionality and concern about pets’ health.
Clothes and accessories produced by the company for injured dogs in animal hospitals are designed to enhance convenience to both owners and veterinarians during treatment.
“This year for Sketch, we aim to promote our new health product line, which is targeted at dogs being treated in animal hospitals such as clothes for dogs after operations, and treatment bags for feisty cats to make it easier for veterinarians to work. This product line will be exported, too,” Ketkhanee said.
“In March, we plan to launch new instant dog treats, which we developed along with the faculty of food science at KMITL,” she said, referring to King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang.
“This product is outstanding in its freshness. Dog owners can bake it any time, and as often as they want. The process is very simple, [add] only a drop of water and oil then they can even bake it in a microwave. It can be kept for one week, and the portion is perfect for such a period.
“Moreover, we also do consulting for real-estate developers that are interested in expanding their services into [such things] as dog playground units, as well as dog facilities in every pet-friendly project, from hotels to coffee shop.
“We [also] aim to enter the funeral-service area by launching products such as coffins for dogs.”