Pet retail chain Musti ja Mirri was founded in Finland in 1988, and is now Scandinavia’s biggest pet product supplier.
The growth of Musti ja Mirri Group (MMG) has been exceptional during the last five years. Taking into account that the company’s sales have increased from €24 million ($26 million) in the year 2010 to about €220 million ($238 million) today, the growth rate can be seen as extraordinary.
Management gives full credit of the growth to their team that is both talented and exceptionally hard working. “All of this is down to people, nothing else. Our people show exceptional commitment which words cannot describe,” says
Mika Sutinen, CEO of Musti ja Mirri.
The group’s latest strategic step is the acquisition of Zoo Support, owner of Arken Zoo and DjurMagazinet franchise chains in Sweden, from Braganza AB in March 2015.
The new group has 225 stores (114 stores in Sweden and 111 in Finland), which makes MMG an uncontested market leader in the Nordic countries. The Swedish market represents the newly formed group a bigger growth potential than Finland, as Sweden’s population is almost double that of Finland’s.
Zoo Support had an excellent strategic fit for MMG. Both Arken Zoo and Djurmagazinet are well known brands and franchisees have been doing a good job, but business had been otherwise under-managed and under numerous turnarounds for years. MMG has an extensive portfolio of own and exclusive brands and a well-developed concept based on which the chains will be able to develop something much better than neither have had before.
“It feels great joining forces with such professional organizations. Arken Zoo and DjurMagazinet are both led by dedicated entrepreneurs, with the staff representing expert skills in the pet field. There are many areas where we can work together to create an even stronger offering and more exciting experience for customers and their pets. The acquisition has put us in an excellent position to seize the growth opportunities in the pet retail market,” says Mika Sutinen.
Musti ja Mirri’s store concept is quite harmonized and straightforward. Stores have a feel of order and space, with clear signage. The dominant colours are white and green, there is plenty of information available at the stores, and signs have a funny flavour coming out of small poems with a small twist. More or less half of the stores are corporate owned and the other half is franchised. Internally, the company calls this combination of franchise and corporate stores a ‘hybrid’ business model.
“We find our hybrid business model outstanding, as it gives us the opportunity to respond to all business opportunities with the best possible setup,” says Mika Sutinen.
When looking at the stores it is clear that dog and cat items are the main staple in Musti ja Mirri’s business concept. Small animals represent less than 10% of turnover. The company has a strong own and exclusive brand programme, with a total of 18 own brands represented. Additionally, Musti ja Mirri has almost 50 exclusive brands. In Finland over 60% of sales comes from own brands and exclusive brands.
Mika Sutinen: “Own and exclusive brands give us an opportunity to sell global brands at competitive prices. We could not survive with the margins global brands allow, and this is why own brands are crucial for our continued existence.”
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