The online pet retailer reported its active customer base grew by 4.7 million — or 31.6% — from last year to reach 19.8 million, while net sales per active customer increased 8.7% year over year to $388, according to a company press release.
Chewy's net income grew 180.9% to $38.7 million from a loss of $47.9 million last year.
When the pandemic took hold last spring, nearly every aspect of the retail industry was affected. But as time went on, the differing effects among various sectors became increasingly apparent. Apparel retailers, for example, largely suffered mounting losses as the need to buy new clothes lessened.
On the other side of the spectrum, however, the pet sector of retail has by and large thrived. With the level of uncertainty the pandemic brought on, consumers turned to pets as a source of comfort.
The number of U.S. households owning a pet was projected to grow by 4% in 2020, according to Packaged Facts. Chewy appears to have not only benefited from the increased demand in the category, but also from operating primarily online — where more consumers conducted their shopping over the past year.
Even as the economy begins to open up, the pet retailer added nearly 560,000 new customers from the previous quarter. Additionally, sales from repeat customers through its Autoship subscription represented nearly 70% of total net sales, indicating it's retaining some of those acquired customers. Over the last two years, Chewy has grown its customer base by 8.4 million, or 75%, according to Singh.
As the pet category boom continues, executives raised the retailer's guidance: Chewy expects second quarter net sales to increase 26% to 28% to be between $2.15 billion and $2.17 billion, while full-year net sales are expected to grow 25% to 26% to be between $8.9 billion and $9 billion.
And though demand may begin to come down from the highs of last year, analysts don't anticipate growth to drop off entirely.
"While growth is inevitably slowing following an unprecedented 2020, we see more upside than downside risk to 2021 guidance and see building blocks to sustainable long-term solid double-digit growth," Wedbush analyst Seth Basham said in emailed comments.