BY HILARY DANINHIRSCH
Manufacturers offer a vari- ety of new enclosures for herps, small mammals
and birds. Are you displaying
these products to their best advantage? Here’s a look at what’s
new, what’s trending and what
the best ways are to merchandise
habitats for exotic pets.
Brian Batten, owner of Fins
and Feathers in Honesdale, Pa.,
said he likes the new Living
World Sol Bird Cage from Rolf
C. Hagen, as it is stylish, compact
and easy to maintain. Other favorites, he said, include Zoo Med
Laboratories’ colored terrariums
and all-natural pillow moss.
“My favorite new item in
terrariums is the Zoo Med Sky-
scraper Terrarium,” said Daniel
Kopulos, owner of Fauna in New
York. “It is perfect for the arbore-
al reptiles and amphibians that do
not require a lot of floor space.”
In addition to the Sky-
scraper, Zoo Med launched a
50-gallon Low Boy Breeder Flat
Terrarium with an optional alu-
minum screen, appropriate for
a variety of exotics, said Josh
Panos, national sales director
for Zoo Med Laboratories in
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Baltimore-based Caitec Corp.
recently launched several products: a macaw-size carrier made
of polycarbonate, a large mess-less feeder for parrot cages, and
a window play center for small
birds, said president Terry Gao.
The general rule of thumb for
bird products is “the bigger, the
better, with correct bar spacing
for any specific group of birds,”
Gao said. “The materials in the
marketplace range from plastic,
cold rolled steel with powder
coating, stainless, aluminum,
wood, bamboo and so on. Stainless steel stands out just because
of its durability and ease for caregivers and disinfection.”
PRODUCT MERCHANDISER FOCUS
Best-practice tips for merchandising
terrariums, housing and cages for
herps, small mammals and birds
SETTING CAGES APART TO SELL
Rotating items keeps a store’s merchandise looking fresh. When new products arrive
at Fins and Feathers in Honesdale, Pa., owner Brian Batten displays them near the front
register with brightly colored labeling to draw attention.
“It’s always good to have your most popular or most profitable cage on display with
the necessary accessories needed for a comfortable home,” said Paul Juszczak, director
of sales and marketing for Marshall Pet Products in Wolcott, N. Y.
“Have the products set up and use them with your store birds; for large carriers, we
strongly suggest a ‘loaner’ program,” said Terry Gao, president of Caitec Corp. in Baltimore.
Many enclosures take up a good deal of space, which is at a premium for some retailers.
“You have to play Tetris with the tanks; we stock one on top of the others so it
looks level,” said “Jungle” Bob Smith, owner of Jungle Bob’s Reptile World in Centereach,
N. Y. “I want to have that aisle completely stocked; I want them clean, looking nice and
even, and with prices on them; that starts the sale. Then we move them down to pick
lighting and leaves and wood and vine; we help them through that process, but it starts
with the cage and the animals.”
DISPLAY AND MARKETING
FOR TOYS AND CHEWS
Display toys and chews in such a way that customers will take
notice, manufacturers advise.
“Location can be key when it comes to promoting and
selling chews,” said Lucas Stock, communications manager for
Oxbow Animal Health in Murdock, Neb. “Many chew items are
small, which means they can easily be placed to stand out in
the aisles. Clip strips are one great option to draw attention to
chews and make them easily accessible. Many of these items
hang easily from peg boards as well.”
Consumers can be overwhelmed when trying to select
the proper products for their pets, said Emilye Schmale, senior
marketing manager for Petmate in Arlington, Texas.
“Be sure your merchandising is organized and clear on
which products are for which type of pet bird,” she said. “Use
products in your store bird habitats if you sell pet birds so that
consumers can see the product in use.”
Retailers should never generalize pet toys, Schmale added, as
all species and sizes of birds are unique and have their own needs.
“What might be a good toy or product for one bird might
not be ideal for another,” she said.
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