Chewy CEO Reports Pandemic Pet Trend is Ongoing

Retail Dive | June 11, 2021

With the level of uncertainty the pandemic brought on, consumers turned to pets as a source of comfort and the pet sector of retail has by and large thrived. Chewy has seen this continue reporting first quarter net sales growth 31.7% to $2.1 billion, driven by its growing customer base and "strength in purchasing behavior," CEO Sumit Singh said.

Even as the economy begins to open up, the pet retailer added nearly 560,000 new customers from the previous quarter. Additionally, sales from repeat customers through its Autoship subscription represented nearly 70% of total net sales, indicating it's retaining some of those acquired customers.

As the pet category boom continues, executives raised the retailer's guidance: Chewy expects second quarter net sales to increase 26% to 28% to be between $2.15 billion and $2.17 billion, while full-year net sales are expected to grow 25% to 26% to be between $8.9 billion and $9 billion.

"While growth is inevitably slowing following an unprecedented 2020, we see more upside than downside risk to 2021 guidance and see building blocks to sustainable long-term solid double-digit growth," Wedbush analyst Seth Basham said.

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