Two metro Detroit business owners are tapping into an expected 4 percent increase in pet spending nationwide by bringing nine Dogtopia dog day care and spa locations to Michigan, with the first to open in Oakland County as soon as next summer.
Scott Paul, owner of Bloomfield Hills-based OPW LLC, doing business as The Sealer Store, and John D. Anderson, founder of the Detroit chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, signed a regional developer franchise agreement with Tysons Corner, Va.-based Dogtopia Enterprises LLC in October.
Dogtopia and other pet day cares capitalize on the growing amount people are spending on pet services, a segment of pet spending that is expected to reach $4.54 billion, according to the Greenwich, Conn.-based American Pet Products Association (APPA).
Paul said that when he researched the growing Michigan dog day care industry, he found more than 50 facilities offering such services in the state, including at least seven locations for Bloomfield, Colo.-based Camp Bow Wow Distribution LLC and two locations for Inkster-based Pet Suite Retreat LLC.
Under the Dogtopia franchise agreement, the partners paid $190,000 for the rights to start nine Michigan dog day cares, with Paul owning 75 percent and Anderson owning 25 percent.
Paul said he will independently own and operate the flagship franchise store, which he plans to open in northern Oakland County as early as next summer. The exact location has not been chosen, he said.
The partners will then decide whether to own the other locations or seek franchisees. The first Dogtopia was opened in 2002 in Tysons Corner by Amy Nichols, a dog owner looking for an alternative to a traditional kennel. It has grown to 24 franchises and five company-owned locations in the United States and Canada, with a plan to expand to 400 locations in the next seven years, according to the company.
“The amount of money people spend on their pets is increasing every year, and the pet services industry is growing even faster,” said Nichols, CEO of Dogtopia. Nichols, who expects the network of Dogtopias to pull in $15 million in revenue this year, said pet spending has more than doubled since she started her business. That number is estimated at $55.5 billion this year, according to the APPA.
Nichols said she chose to expand with Paul and Anderson in Michigan in great part because of their business backgrounds. “Scott has a successful business and that entrepreneurial spirit and John has experience with franchises, which I believe makes an ideal combination of skills,” she said.
Daycare at existing Dogtopia locations is about $30 a day; it costs another $20 for an overnight stay. That pricing structure will hold true in Michigan, Nichols said.
As a franchise policy, all breeds are welcome as long as the animal passes a $15 temperament evaluation, is up to date on vaccinations and spayed or neutered.