We are tremendously proud of the growth that Catipilla has experienced since our launch in 2018. But as we enter a new year, with new objectives, ideas and energy, it’s always good to look back to see just how far we’ve come.
2021 was a transformative year for Catipilla. We grew our business operations, explored new sales channels and moved into new commercial office space, complete with warehousing and a distribution centre. We also grew our revenues by 148%, which was exactly the same growth that we achieved in 2020.
We know that success isn’t just about numbers. But this number is indicative of how many customers have resonated with our message over the last 12 months.
Our growth numbers speak for themselves. Revenue in all four quarters of 2021 was higher than that of any previous quarter since our launch in 2018, and our monthly year-on-year growth varied from 16% to 622% across the year.
As many households during the pandemic welcomed new pets into their family, these new owners made sure that they created happy and healthy home environments for their cats. There’s no doubt that Catipilla’s Q1 sales benefitted from those difficult lock-down months, but encouragingly, those amplified sales became the ‘new norm’ throughout the year.
The UK market remained the cornerstone of our business with 77% of sales, but we also experienced marked growth in international sales, particularly in North America which accounted for 18% of all sales. Catipilla products can now be found in 19 countries around the world and we see international markets as an incremental growth opportunity.
Catipilla provides sustainable, long-lasting, and most importantly, good value cat furniture to consumers. To date, our business success has been driven largely through a direct-to-consumer sales model. 2021 was no different, with 90% of our sales conducted through DTC channels. 50% of orders came through our website, while Etsy contributed 42%.
But that hasn’t stopped us from partnering with the pet industry. We were exceptionally proud to open our first in-store experience at the new Just for Pets flagship store in Stafford in May 2021. This was followed by another in-store experience at Just for Pets’ Tamworth location at the end of the year. Both retail outlets have given prospective customers the chance to appreciate the Catipilla range in person and see how their cats could benefit from the variety of products on display.
We also established new retail partnerships with Petfix in Ireland and Quality Cat in the Netherlands. Retail distribution is a very different proposition for us but one that will become increasingly important.
Catipilla’s increase in sales during 2021 has also led to an expansion in business operations.
In January, we launched a new and enhanced product range that featured a suite of Climbers, High Plates, Tee Pees and Scratchers. We listened to our customers and introduced sleeker designs, colour options and simplified installation all of which was underpinned by our commitment to producing high-quality materials and a high-class finish. The new range was a hit with customers and laid the foundations for the exceptional year that we had.
In the summer, we were delighted to welcome back co-founder Joseph Sutton to the team full-time, bringing with him a wealth of sales and digital marketing experience. We can’t wait to see what the team can accomplish with Joseph’s expertise in 2022.
2021 also brought perhaps the most exciting update of all. A move out of the family home in Wales and into a commercial office space in an industrial unit in Castlegate Business Park, Caldicot. The 1,500 sq ft space allows us to carry out our growing day-to-day operations, manage ever-increasing stock levels and provides the opportunity for further expansion over the coming months.
All our products are Made in Britain and our partnership with The Helping Hand Company in Hereford has allowed our new products to be quickly researched, developed and brought to market. Andy Sutton, Managing Director, was a NASA engineer, so all our products use his considerable engineering expertise to create cat furniture that’s both fit for function and beautifully designed.
We pride ourselves on the quality of all Catipilla’s products and have a keen focus on sustainability and reusability which sits at the heart of everything we do.
What’s next for Catipilla? There is plenty in the pipeline for 2022. From new products to new partnerships, watch this space to discover the exciting next step in our journey.
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