The current vogue for pet pampering makes the recent closure of Harrods’ pet department rather curious. The new owners from Qatar closed the area to make way for yet more ladies fashion and so the historic department is gone forever much to the distress of the rich and famous who love to lavish ridiculous pomp on their furry friends. The dedicated followers of pet fashion should not get too upset though because when one door closes another will surely open.
The Famous Pet Kingdom
Harrods was the place where you could literally buy anything. I remember that when I was a teenager I turned down a job at Harrods in favour of a better offer from Selfridges. I was happy about my new position but disappointed to miss the opportunity to work in Knightsbridge mainly because of Harrods’ Pet Kingdom. I probably wouldn’t have been fortunate enough to have been placed in the fabled department but just being in the same store seemed exciting. This, was after all, the place where Noel Coward bought an alligator!
Filling the Hole
The closure did seem to leave a bit of a hole in the market but the opportunity has been ceased by Quentin Griffiths and Will Cooper. Griffiths was co-founder of online fashion retailer ASOS and the pair launched lifestyle site Achica together. The duo have now turned their attention to the pet market with their new venture AStarpets.com.
High End Accessories
Here you will be able to buy all of the things that your pet doesn’t care about or want but which make you nonetheless feel good! Designer collars, dog beds and whistles abound and you can even fit your cat with a GPS tracker. In truth most of the merchandise is reasonably priced but much of it is unnecessary which naturally makes it all the more appealing! Who really needs a £42.50 poop pouch or a £100 dog bowl? I know that my cats wouldn’t care about a posh bowl as they are only interested in what is in it. Indeed they are usually more concerned about what I am eating and one of the cheeky devils had developed a taste for pesto of all things. Perhaps I should start a new business myself specialising in absurd animal diets.
Heading for Success
I am sure that the AStarpets venture will be a great success. We have fewer pets between us these days but we are definitely spending more on them and not just on their food. Fancy accessories are all the rage and for many owners nothing is too much when it comes to their pets. Personally I have no intention of following Latoya Jackson’s example and investing in a Luis Vuitton pet carrier. My moggies are going to have to make do with the cheap plastic variety that has served them well for years and I must cut down on the pesto consumption as I am sure that cannot be entirely healthy.
What Pets Really Want
Pets want love and attention, the right amount of exercise and a good, nutritious and flavoursome diet. They don’t care about diamond studded collars but it would appear that those with adequate funds do. Good luck to them but it all sounds like another way to get yourself mugged to me and in more ways than one.
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and animal lover who keeps and eye out for interesting developments in the pet world