essential topics. The program has been highly successful, with more than 6,000 pet stores using the
program since its launch and nearly 30,000 store
associates, managers and owners completing at
least one chapter.
PPN: What other resources does the organization
offer to retailers?
King: PIDA oversees all of the seminars offered
to retailers as part of the Global Pet Expo Academy in Orlando, Fla., each March. Over four days,
retailers can participate in more than 30 hours of
workshops, seminars and mini sessions designed to
strengthen their businesses. And just like Pet Store
Pro, all seminars at Global are free. More than 1,600
pet store owners and employees attended in 2017.
This year, we have added a series of free webi-nars featuring speakers from the Global Pet Expo
Academy to extend the learning all year long. The
first two, Lynn Switanowski in January and Anne
Obarski in February, are archived on the Global Pet
Expo website, and four more are slated to follow for
the remainder of the year.
PPN: PIDA also has manufacturer resources. Tell
us about what you offer for manufacturers in the
King: PIDA’s biggest contribution to manufacturers
is our sponsorship of the annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference. Building on a 46-year legacy of
the PIDA Annual Meeting, the conference brings the
top management of manufacturers together with
their distributor counterparts for frank discussions
of industry issues in a relaxed resort environment.
PIDA members have the opportunity to participate
in our exclusive, one-on-one, “speed-dating” style
executive conference program, which remains an
important part of the meeting.
PPN: Tell us about the retailer surveys PIDA con-
ducted. What was the purpose of the study? And
what information has been gleaned so far?
King: Late last year, PIDA conducted a comprehensive survey of our members’ retail customers,
getting feedback from more than 400 retailers
through telephone interviews and an online survey. The purpose was to explore the relationship
that retailers have with distributors and to find out
what they would like to see improved. We learned
that two-thirds of the respondents felt that they
were valued by their distributors, but that there
is room for improvement. Most retailers use from
four to seven distributors, largely to obtain specific
product lines that they want to stock in their stores.
Retailers praised their distributors for their courteous delivery drivers and helpful salespeople. The
biggest criticism was too many out of stock items.
We are still gleaning information from the
study, but we think it is going to be very helpful to
our members as they work to improve their service
to retail customers.
PPN: What can we expect in the future from PIDA?
King: You can expect a continued dedication to pet
product wholesaler-distributors and to improving
their relationships with their suppliers and customers. We will continue to be strong contributors to
industry coalitions—like the Pet Care Trust, HABRI [Human Animal Bond Research Institute], the
Pet Leadership Council and PIJAC—that work to
strengthen the overall industry and improve the
care provided to the pets we love.
A LONG HISTORY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
THE PET INDUSTRY DISTRIBUTORS ASSOCIATION (PIDA) HAS MADE MANY
IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INDUSTRY OVER THE YEARS:
• Along with the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and World Pet Association (WPA), PIDA formed
the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) in 1970 to provide a unified voice for the pet industry
before federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies. PIDA has helped fund PIJAC every year since.
• PIDA created Quality Packaging Guidelines in 1987, establishing criteria for accurate carton
identification and ease of handling, including proper use of bar codes.
• The organization began support of pet retailers with the introduction of the Product Art Clipbook (1986)
and the Pet Retailer Resource Guide (1988). The Pet Store Excellence Training Program, offering video
tapes on sales, customer service, marketing and employee supervision, debuted in 1990. Pet Store Pro,
PIDA’s online training program for pet retailers, was launched in 2008.
• PIDA, along with APPA and WPA, is a parent organization to the Pet Care Trust. The three organizations
provide most of the funding for the Pets in the Classroom program that has placed more than 110,000
pets in classrooms in the past seven years. PIDA’s president, Steve King, also serves as the executive
director of the trust.
PIDA has continued its tradition of offering pet industry professionals events where they can learn, network and work together
to solve some of the industry’s biggest problems. Along with the
American Pet Products Association (APPA), the Pet Industry Joint
Advisory Council (PIJAC) and World Pet Association (WPA), PIDA
co-hosts the Pet Industry Leadership Conference.
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