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by Pets In The City,
last updated 03/07/2012

Grow a million dollar-plus business with Pets In The City

According to Rob Ellis, there are four qualities you need for success as a Pets In The City franchisee: you need to like dogs, like people, like business and like success. ‘You also need to be prepared to work hard,’ he adds. ‘If you have all those qualities and are able to invest around $150,000, you could build a business that will turn over more than $1 million per annum within three years.’

Rob and his wife Carole have done exactly that. The couple launched Pets In The City, their five-star ‘hotel for pets’, in Auckland in 2008 and it has just gone on growing, despite the downturn. Last year they appointed Franchize Consultants, New Zealand’s most-awarded franchise specialists, to look at the possibility of franchising and managing director Win Robinson was most impressed: ‘Basically, it’s a money-making factory,’ he says. The resulting franchise package enables others to replicate that success and is now available.

Pets In The City is a game-changing concept for New Zealand and has enjoyed a great deal of media coverage, being featured on TV One, TV3 and even enjoying a starring role in a National Bank campaign. Rather than being out in the country, like old-style kennels, Pets In The City is fully indoors and based in city areas convenient for customers’ home and work. Furthermore, there is a lot more to the business than boarding.

Multiple Income Streams

‘Our franchisees will enjoy six or more revenue streams,’ explains Rob.

1. Short and long-term boarding for dogs. All the dogs have individual rooms and we offer different levels of amenities, with all creature comforts including TV.

2. Boarding for cats, in their own well-separated ‘cat condo’. People leave their pets with us while they are away for a weekend, a month, even longer, secure in the knowledge that they will be well looked after.

3. Day care. Customers bring their dogs in while they are at work or over the weekend if they are going away. We place the dogs into separate groups according to their size and temperament, and they enjoy indoor playparks with plenty of space for exercise and games. Of course, our boarders join in.

4. Dog grooming. We lease space and equipment to a qualified groomer who generates her own customers, many of whom then become Pets In The City clients. To give you some idea of the scale of the business, the groomer at our centre in Mt Wellington, Auckland, employs three staff.

5. Retail. We sell a range of pet food and accessories such as leads, collars, supplements, bowls, and so on. Our clients care about their pets and are glad to get advice from people who know them well.

6. Dog training. This is a useful add-on for a franchisee once they have got the basic business established. Carole is a qualified trainer and will tell you that the process is as much about training the owners as their dogs.

7. Finally, we already have a dog hydrotherapy and chiropractic service within our Mt Wellington centre that, like the grooming, is leased to a qualified operator. We are currently exploring options for expanding this into a dog ‘wellness centre’ offering other services too, which would be a later addition for franchisees.

‘The result is a substantial business opportunity for a couple or individual with business management and customer service experience,’ Rob says. ‘They will also need some practical skills and be prepared to commit 100% to the business. This is not a “lifestyle choice” but once your franchise is established and you have a good team of staff, you can step back and focus on management.’

Key Areas Available Now

Pets In The City is looking for franchisees for key areas nationwide, including the North Shore and West Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington – anywhere that combines high socio-economic profiles with lots of families,’ Rob says. ‘Our client base includes business-people, immigrants, retired people, professional couples, and anyone who travels for work or pleasure. The business has proven itself to be recession-proof – people still go away, and we have a very high proportion of returning customers and referrals. It’s a good cash-flow business, too.’

New franchisees will benefit from Rob and Carole’s personal assistance while getting established. Rob had a long career in general management, while Carole was national customer services manager with Telecom Mobile. The couple also had a lengthy background in dog breeding and kennel ownership before starting Pets In The City as the result of their researches in the US. ‘The petcare industry is enormous there and growing here,’ Rob points out. ‘It’s already worth around $1.5 billion in New Zealand and we’re at the bottom of the cycle.

‘We have two banks that have seen the figures we are achieving and are keen to help new franchisees get on board. We have clients asking, ‘When are you going to open in xxx?’ We have figures showing three years of constant growth. Now all we need is people committed to creating their own business in one of the best markets in the country. Call me today and arrange a tour – I’d love to tell you more.’

This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Volume 21 Issue 1 

Contact details for Pets In The City

For more information and advice on buying a franchise get your FREE copy of Franchise New Zealand magazine

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