“As collars, leashes and harnesses continue
to be essential products for consumers to pur-
chase, the category, as a whole, has grown by
leaps and bounds. These are your basic staple
items in any store.”—SARA SCHREKENHOFER,
advertising manager and graphic designer at
Leather Brothers in Conway, Ark. “There is a wider variety of options available
today, for sure, and consumers are enjoying
the ability to express their own style prefer-
ences with their furry best friend. Bright, bold
colors are in, and many consumers prefer pet
accessories be sleek, with modern designer
touches.”—LEAH ANGELOS, sales representa-
tive at ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif.
“As the humanization of pets continues to rise, more pet owners consider their
pets to be family members, and they want the same prints that they would choose
for themselves. Ten years ago, mostly solid prints filled the store shelves, and now
we are seeing more and more patterns. Even well-known designers and celebrities
are entering the pet industry with their exclusive collections.”—CAROLERISMAN,
communications and marketing manager at MiracleCorp in Dayton, Ohio
How does today’s canine style-setter enjoy a more
expansive wardrobe of collars, leashes and harnesses?
ALL IN THE PRESENTATION
When it comes to merchandising and display, a retailer’s selection of collars, leashes and harnesses should be large
enough to provide a variety of styles, materials and colors, and designed to accommodate the specific customer base
of each individual store, according to industry insiders.
Establishing and determining the needs of the clientele will enable retailers to select products that will increase
overall sales, said Sara Schrekenhofer, advertising manager and graphic designer for Leather Brothers in Conway,
“Being creative and unique in collars and lead displays will catch your customer’s attention,” she said. “Think
outside of the box so displays will appeal to your customer base.”
At Dog Krazy, which has locations in Virginia, legging display racks present a selection of collars.
“They look really nice; the racks are like a ladder,” said owner and president Nancy Guinn.
For high visibility and maximum use of space, leashes are draped side by side over metal curtain rods.
“They’re not on pegs where a customer has to sift through them—they can be seen straight across,” she said. “In
my first tiny, tiny store, I had to save space and the curtain rods worked for me.”
Leah Angelos, sales representative for ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif., noted that retailer display preferences vary and
are often dependent on store layout and shelving design.
“Generally, pictures, eye-catching displays or props showing dogs wearing these items will strengthen appeal and
help the customer to visualize them in use,” Angelos said.
Point-of-purchase displays, catchy graphics and signage, and colorful headers are essential, Schrekenhofer agreed.
“When a customer orders a display, we always provide a re-order strip to ensure quick and easy re-ordering of
sizes and products, but this can also be a useful tool for keeping your products neatly organized and in their rightful
place on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “Sizing should be visible and easy to find for consumers.”
Keeping a clean and tidy store will also make it easier to shop, resulting in better sales, Schrekenhofer added.
A clean, organized presentation will send a clear message, said Carol Erisman, communications and marketing
manager for MiracleCorp. in Dayton, Ohio.
“The days of digging through unorganized racks with mismatched sizes and colors are over,” she said. “Also, sizing
small to large from top to bottom allows customers to easily find what they are looking for.”
Along these lines, refreshing the space is vital.
“Bring in exciting new designs to keep things looking fresh,” Erisman added.
FINDING THE PROPER FIT
Because every collar and harness fits differently, product and brand
familiarity are essential to assisting a pet owner in fitting and sizing a collar or
harness. Further, ascertaining the type of use is key, said Sara Schrekenhofer,
advertising manager and graphic designer for Leather Brothers in Conway, Ark.
“Ask the consumer how they will be using the product,” she said. “For
example, [will it be used for] training [or] outside?”
Leah Angelos, sales representative for ZippyPaws in Chino, Calif., said that
allowing pet owners to try the product on their pet can also help owners find
the right product.
“It’s always good for retailers to have easily accessible samples available
for consumers to actually try on their furry friends so they can find the perfect
fit,” Angelos said. “Many retailers also provide measuring tapes for customers
Further, as a dog grows, the pet owner needs to ensure that the collar or
harness fits correctly and is not too tight, Schrekenhofer said.
“As a dog matures, it will need different-sized collars and harnesses,”
she said. “You don’t want a dog to become uncomfortable or have obstructed
At Healthy Pet Products, which has two retail locations and a grooming
operation in the Pittsburgh area, owner Toni Shelaske recommends that
customers bring their dogs into the store in order to provide a proper harness
“If they are not able to do so, we advise that the most important
measurement is the circumference of the chest behind the front legs,” she said.
A collar and leash display that is organized by size, along with a sizing chart,
will further assist the pet owner in finding the right product for their dog, said
Carol Erisman, communications and marketing manager for MiracleCorp in
FRESH LOOKS FOR FURRY FASHIONISTAS
In response to consumer demand, manufacturers are creating a wider variety of leashes, collars
and harnesses featuring high-quality materials and vivid, fashionable colors.
This year, MiracleCorp added new patterns to its Hamilton Ribbon Overlay Fashion collection
of nylon collars and leashes, which now features more than 40 different prints for pet owners
and canine fashionistas, said Carol Erisman, communications and marketing manager for the
Dayton, Ohio-based company.
“Every year, we add to our collection and are excited to give pet owners new and improved
prints,” Erisman said.
The products are made using 100 percent premium custom nylon with jacquard ribbon
overlay. Patterns are developed by carefully analyzing emerging and continuing trends in all
areas of the fashion, interior design and lifestyle markets, according to Erisman.
MiracleCorp’s Hamilton Reflective Pet Series fashion collars utilize highly reflective print on
premium-quality nylon, which is resistant to wear and tear, she said.
“When thinking of new prints for this year’s fashion collars, we wanted to incorporate a
new feature,” Erisman said. “The reflective collars now offer added safety for pets on their
The collars are available in two designs and a variety of colors and sizes to ensure that dogs
are kept safe during lowlight conditions without sacrificing style, she added.
Leather Brothers recently debuted its OmniPet Biothane Ultra Sport collection.
“Ultra Sport collars are all-weather products and are adjustable, waterproof, stink proof,
soil resistant, easily cleaned and durable,” said Sara Schrekenhofer, advertising manager and
graphic designer for the Conway, Ark.-based company.
Made with patent-pending Biothane material, the collars are available in five colors: black,
blue, neon orange, neon pink and red. Each is fitted with a matte-black D-ring and adjustable
Kwik-klip buckle sporting the OmniPet logo. Matching leads are available.
Skilled craftsmen make the line in the USA, Schrekenhofer added.