In recession, pampered pets still find luxury online

Tue May 19, 2009 6:51am EDT
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Luxury goods may have lost their luster for many people due to the recession, but in Australia, some pets are still living the good life.

Online luxury pet store Pets Palace ( was launched eight weeks ago as the economy was taking a battering from the global credit crisis and unemployment rose.

And, according to its managers, business is booming.

Marketing director Diana Costa is reluctant to give out sales figures, but says the site started out with one order every two days and now fill outs at least 15 orders a day.

"We've been inundated. People are looking for ways to make themselves feel good that doesn't cost very much and our items don't cost a lot," Costa told Reuters.

"Australians love their animals, they're becoming more a part the of the family so I think that's why they don't mind spending on their pets during this time."

Catering mainly to cats and dogs, Pets Palace offers products such as designer day and party wear, jewelry and accessories, furniture, bowls and toys as well as gourmet foods and drinks.

Prices range from nearly A$70 ($54) for plush dog beds in a range of colors and fabrics, to A$13 for cat wipes and A$6 for dog socks with non-slip soles. There is also a pink camouflage dog flotation vest for A$80 and canvas sneakers for A$30.   Continued...