BY STACY N. HACKETT
Just outside the grooming sa- lon at the back of The Pet Stop in Murrieta, Calif., is a display
of home grooming tools—
brushes, combs, slickers, clippers and
“It’s important to keep up at
home as much as possible,” said
head groomer Laura Warfield,
noting that different tools work for
different types and breeds of dogs.
A pet’s temperament also
might influence which type of
tool will work at home, Warfield said. For example, some pets
seem more accepting of grooming
gloves than brushes, while other
pets appear to enjoy all types of
No matter which type of tool
an owner chooses, the goal remains the same: to keep the dog
looking its best.
“More consumers want the
ability to provide mainte-
nance to pets in between
visits to the groomer,”
said Karen Formico,
vice president of mar-
keting for Andis Co.
in Sturtevant, Wis.
“Consumers want to be
able to extend the length
of their pet’s groom between
visits to the groomer.”
Customers also want
to “keep their pets healthy,
beautiful and happy,”
said Austin Russo, prod-
uct manager at Stamford,
Conn.-based Conair Pet.
Removing the loose hair
caused by shedding is another top
priority, he noted.
Lisa Ximenez, CEO of Goddess
of Gadgets in South Pasadena, Calif., agreed that pet owners want
their pets to be happy.
“Our pets are like our kids, so
Send the Salon Home
like [with] our kids, we want to
be assured the products we use
on them are made of safe mate-
rials and can’t potentially hurt
them,” she said. “Additionally
… consumers really appreciate
when one tool can take the place
of many tools.”
A range of brushes, combs, de-shedders and grooming
gloves help customers maintain their dogs’ good looks.
Manufacturers continue to
introduce innovative products in
the home grooming category to
make caring for pets’ coats easier
for consumers and more pleasant
“We recognize the demand and
growth potential in the at-home
grooming market,” said Karen Formico, vice president of marketing
for Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis.
“Our mission is for consumers to
have access to professional-level
tools both in and out of the salon.”
To that end, Andis released
four home-grooming tools for dogs:
the Premium Two-Sided Pin Brush,
the Premium Deshedding Tool, the
Premium Soft-Tooth Slicker Brush
and the Flea Comb.
The goal, Formico said, is to
help pet owners “provide mainte-
nance to their pets in between visits
to the groomer.”
Conair Pet of Stamford, Conn.,
recently introduced the Pet-It
Deshedder in small and large sizes
to help control shedding, said Aus-
tin Russo, product manager.
“Shedding is a major concern
of consumers, and this product is a
versatile and affordable solution,”
HandsOn Equine LLC of Fort
Worth, Texas, also offers a product
designed to control shedding and
help with grooming and bathing.
Available in small, medium and
large sizes, the HandsOn gloves fit
completely over the owner’s hands,
and the scrubbing nodules remove
loose hair as the owner strokes the
pet. The gloves, which are designed
for use with dogs, cats and horses,
also can be used for bathing to help
massage in pet shampoos, said CEO
Goddess of Gadgets in South
Pasadena, Calif., offers a multiuse
grooming product that has other
household uses, too. Bump It Off
is a two-sided reusable silicone
scrubber that “can be used for dry
brushing and shampooing pets,
and also for removing pet fur from
fabric surfaces such as furniture and
clothing,” said CEO Lisa Ximenez.
Manufacturers offer a range of informative materials and mediums to help retailers educate customers about home grooming tools.
From brochures and sales sheets to demonstration videos, retailers and employees can call upon a wealth of information.
“When picking out pet grooming tools, it’s important for consumers to select the tool that is going to work best for their pet’s coat
and needs,” said Karen Formico, vice president of marketing for Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis. “We have added new, easy-to-understand
rating systems and infographics to our packaging to help consumers feel comfortable with their purchasing decision.”
Goddess of Gadgets in South Pasadena, Calif., also includes thorough instructions on the packaging for its Bump It Off silicone
grooming tool, and the company posts videos on its website, said CEO Lisa Ximenez.
Jay Michaelson, CEO of Fort Worth, Texas-based HandsOn Equine LLC, which makes a grooming glove for use on dogs, cats and
horses, recommends that retailers have their employees watch such videos, too.
“We want to educate and arm the retailer and staff,” he said, noting that HandsOn offers training videos in addition to conference
calls and in-store visits. One of the best ways to educate customers is to first “take the time, especially with new products, to learn from
the company itself.”
At Patton Avenue Pet Co., which has stores in Asheville, N.C., owner Jenna Yarosh encourages her employees to try new grooming
products at home before recommending them to customers.
“We try out all products at home before bringing them in so that we can feel comfortable selling them,” she said.
Natural Pet Food & Supplies in Temecula,
Calif., devotes an entire endcap display to
home grooming tools for dogs, while those
for cats reside on an adjacent endcap.
Manufacturers said such simple, hands-on
displays can be more effective than fancy,
over-the-top merchandising efforts.
“A nice and neat display with clear
labels can go a long way,” said Karen
Formico, vice president of marketing for
Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis.
Andis is redesigning its in-store displays to give pet owners the opportunity
to touch and hold many of the company’s
home grooming tools, Formico said.
“We’ve heard from our customers
that they’re unlikely to make a purchas-
ing decision before they’ve actually felt
our tools in their hands, so this is a way
to help them understand the quality of
our tools and to make that decision even
easier,” Formico said.
Lisa Ximenez, CEO of Goddess
of Gadgets in South Pasadena, Calif.,
“Feeling is believing,” she said. “The
Bump It Off retail packaging allows the
consumer to touch and feel both the
bumps and the bristles, and that is all
they need to be sold.”
Manufacturers suggested using pro-
motional methods that actively engage
customers in some manner.
“Interactive displays, including those
that have video, are very effective,” said
Austin Russo, product manager at Conair
Pet in Stamford, Conn., noting that Conair
Pet produces educational videos that are
available to retailers and consumers on
the company’s website, conairpet.com.
Advances in technology can help
retailers emphasize the features of a
product. Using their smartphones, today’s customers can quickly and easily
access a wealth of information online.
Jay Michaelson, CEO of Fort Worth,
Texas-based HandsOn Equine LLC,
which makes a grooming glove for use
on dogs, cats and horses, suggested
that retailers provide QR codes that
direct consumers directly to videos of
the grooming tools in action.
Still, good old-fashioned personal
service usually means the difference in
making a sale.
“We find the most effective way to
encourage sales of these products is by
talking with and educating the customer,” said Jenna Yarosh, owner of Patton
Avenue Pet Co., which has stores in
Asheville, N.C. “We rely on our knowledge
and personal touch in customer service.”