The JSE’s retail sector has been severely tested during the past two years, and some specialist groups took serious strain during the lockdown.While investors normally keep their distance from the "dogs" of the JSE, it is ironic that one retail niche that has collared remarkably steady returns during these lean times are pet shops.Humans have long pampered their pets. But the so-called "humanisation" of domestic animals now stretches beyond letting the dogs and cats sleep on the bed.Pets have become an integral part of the family. They are fed nutritious meals, afforded the best health care, spoilt with all kinds of accessories — from comfy baskets to exercise toys — and even covered by health and life insurance.There are no proper entry points for local investors to this vibrant niche at present; only a few listed counters, having limited exposure to the pet sector.Remgro-controlled RCL Foods offers an entrée to the pet food sector by means of brands such as Epol, Bobtail, Dogmor, ...

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