Sunday, January 01, 2012

AKC Continues to Tailspin Into the Ground

The AKC continues to auger into the ground.  A few statistics from the AKC concerning 2011:

  • Volume of AKC registrations continued to be headed downhill
  • Number of AKC breeders has declined 10% in 2011 for a total decline of 34% over the past 3 yrs.
  • Number of Commercial breeders has dropped 36% from last year
  • Number of puppies sold at retail stores is down 20%
  • Total revenues during the first eight months of 2011 were 5.4% lower than 2010.
  • Due to the shrinking population of breeders, the number of registered litters continues to decline, 11% below 2010.
  • The AKC licensing agent is currently in bankruptcy proceedings and may cease operations
  • $500,000 in guaranteed royalty revenues due to us from the AKC licensing activities have been lost over the past 2 ½ years due to the licensees going out of business
  • Revenues from AKC's affinity credit card are 50% less than what they were three years ago
  • Revenues from AKC sponsorships are anticipated to decline by one third from last year due to the fact that a number of AKC corporate sponsors (with their own budget constraints) have either reduced or eliminated their commitments to the AKC

Back in March of 2010, I predicted that the AKC would go out of business by 2025.   

I may have been optimistic -- the decline is speeding up, and at some point there will be a tipping effect. We may be there very soon at this rate, as the AKC operated on a $2.3 million deficit last year -- the second year in a row that the AKC has run an operating deficit.

As for registration numbers, things have gotten so bad in recent years that the AKC has not published them -- a very bad sign, and one more reason corporate sponsors might one to think twice before they plop money down for what is probably less than imagined.

This is not to say that the AKC is on the verge of insolvency.  It still has a little less than $60 million a year in income, but it also has rapidly rising pension and post-retirement obligations, and a declining stream of income.  At some point something has to give.

Americans, of course, continue to acquire dogs.  As I have noted in the past, however, more than half of all American dogs are now cross-breeds or mongrels and today AKC-registered dogs represent less than 10% of all dogs. 

Of the approximately 500,000 dogs registered by the AKC last year, more than half were members of just 10 breeds, while the rarest 50 breeds combined represented less than 2 percent of all AKC-registered dogs.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I have to admit that my purebred pup is AKC registered, but if his breeder hadn't already done it we wouldn't have bothered since we've little intention to show (we might if we have time/energy, we might not), and no intention of breeding.