Because of the increasing specialization of dog treats, retailers can cross-merchandise
various types of dog treats with related products.
“For example, treats that are designed to be used as training rewards should be
displayed with training products, such as leads, puppy pads and training videos,” said
Barbara Denzer, vice president of marketing for Cardinal Laboratories Inc. in Azusa, Ca-
lif. “Gluten-free treats should be merchandised with gluten-free dog food, and so forth.”
With all of the specialization in the category today, it’s also a good idea for employ-
ees to find out from customers exactly what they intend to use the treat for, the size
and weight of the dog, and any known allergies so they can recommend a treat that’s
perfectly suited to the pet’s needs, Denzer said.
This type of cross-merchandising can result in more impulse sales of dog treats.
TREATS APPEALS TO
CUSTOMERS, BUILDS SALES
Customers have a variety of needs when choosing dog treats, which is why it’s all
about consultation and education, said Laura Clark, co-owner of Wylie Wagg, which
has stores in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
“The most common requests are for training treats, limited-ingredient treats,
and low-calorie treats,” she said. “Even if a customer comes in looking for a specific
type of treat, we always ask questions to ensure that we’re providing the right
solution. For instance, customers sometimes buy grain-free food and then buy treats
with grain, not thinking about the benefits of grain-free treats for animals who need
Similarly, a pet owner might buy a limited-ingredient or low-calorie food but
select a multiple-ingredient or high-calorie treat. Clark said it’s her responsibility to
explain what options are available so customers can maintain the same standards
across food and treats.
Mary Jane Nagel, owner of St. Michaels Pet Supplies in St. Michaels, Md., said
more and more dogs have allergies, so it’s important that her staff knows what
products have wheat, and which will be safe for customers to buy for their dogs.
“We are a small store in a small town, but we built our last store up through
customer service and knowledge, and that’s what we’re going to do here,” she said.
Pam Webb, owner of Paws in the City in Cary, N.C., said she usually asks customers when they come in what treats they already are giving their pets, and explains
the important role treats play in a dog’s health.
“I want to make sure they understand that the quality of treats is important, as
some can cause problems or allergies, just like any food,” she said. “As a family-owned
company with just a few employees, I [give employees] as much education as possible
about the products so they can be the go-to person for all our customers.”
It’s also the job of manufacturers to help spread the word about the importance
of treats. Eric Abbey, president and founder of Loving Pets in Cranbury, N. J., said the
company invests a great deal in helping to communicate that message.
“We list our sourced ingredients on every package so consumers know exactly
what is inside every one of our treats,” he said. “We also have designed easy-to-iden-
tify icons on the front of each treat package (such as grain free, corn free, etc.).”
Vetscience LLC/Fruitables Pet Food works to provide distributors and retailers
with information on its products, including its research into the approach and effica-
cy it strives to include in all of its product innovation.
“We usually provide FAQs with the sales materials developed for launch, and
spend time discussing and educating at trade and distributor shows and retail visits,”
said David DeLorenzo, president of the Dallas-based company.
PROMOTION AND DISPLAY
Wylie Wagg, which has stores in Virginia and Washington, D.C., offers a large treat
section so that all options are in one place.
“Within that, we merchandise similar categories together so that customers easily
can see the variety of brands and/or flavors for each kind of treat,” said Laura Clark,
co-owner. “This helps with upselling because a customer who likes to buy one type of
treat may add a similar product that is displayed nearby. It also makes it possible for our
associates to show customers many different treats from one area of the store.”
Vetscience LLC/Fruitables Pet Food in Dallas makes its products easy to display with
packaging that stands on shelves or hangs on pegs, said David DeLorenzo, president.
“Clip strips also are effective, and we provide them in almost all of our seasonal
packs to encourage displaying in high-traffic, impulse-generating areas of the store,”
DeLorenzo said. “We know what works
from an assortment perspective and
provide recommendations on what to
carry based on store and set size to the
trade, but realize that retailers have
preferences and know what sells and
what is interesting enough to try.”
CUTIE COLLARS offers Shalimar Swirl
Harness. Made in the USA of 100 percent machine-washable cotton to not
chafe the skin or mat and break hair, the
harness rides correctly on the body for
GLO-MARR PET PRODUCTS presents
Kenic Oxy-Sol Pet Odor and Stain
Remover, which is formulated with
powerful cleansers, oxygenated bleach
compounds and patented Ordenone,
a compound that encapsulates,
neutralizes and removes odors. Not
for use directly on
pets, the remover
comes in 17-oz. and
and the clean, fresh
fragrance is great
in the groom shop,
kennel, kitchen, bath
or any place that
needs a thorough
CARDINAL PET CARE offers Grain-Free
Crazy Dog Train Me! Treats. Made in
the USA with wholesome ingredients,
the treats do not contain any wheat,
corn, soy, BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin. The
formulas come in Bacon and Chicken
recipes, and the small morsels are only
1.6 calories each. They come in 3.5-oz
GOLD PAW SERIES’ Sun Shield Tees are
rendered in a silky, lightweight jersey
that is UPF 50 rated, which means it
blocks 98 percent of the sun’s UV rays,
the company reports. Ideal for wear indoors and out, the tees are sewn in the
USA and come in sizes 2 to 33 and four
colors: royal heather, fuchsia heather,
turquoise heather and grey heather.
HACHIKO’S product of the same name
is a sensor that simply attaches to any
harness or collar and measures a dog’s
activity using Bluetooth technology
that connects to an iPhone 5 phone or
higher. Made of tough polycarbonate
plastic shell, Hachiko is 100 percent
waterproof and has a 12-month battery
life, so there’s no need for owners to
remove and recharge it. It is available in
a variety of fun, bright colors.
BOLD LEAD DESIGNS offers The 8-Way
Lead. The European-style, multifunc-tional leather lead features eight
positions. The leash is excellent for
hands-free use, as it can be worn over
the shoulder; it has a built-in training
collar, adjusts to various lengths and
makes an easy tie-up. Available in black
or tan leather in four widths.
we use our
vegetables and fruits
pressurization at a low
This locks in more
of nature’s goodness
to FUEL THE
our dogs deserve.