to improve our website and make what
our customers want available to them.
“Education is important for retailers
to be able to serve their customers and for
the retail customer to be able to make an
educated decision on the types of products
they want to buy,” Van Kempen added.
“The Internet is amazing for this purpose.”
Consumers are getting smarter every
day and demand to know the “whys,” said
Fang. To help that process along, the company has “educational materials showing
the science behind the Reliq product and
testimonies from clients, including before
and after pictures,” he said.
Retailers have ample opportunity to
educate their clients one on one, particularly those that have a grooming salon on
“My store is an interactive store; we educate clients on a daily basis,” said Lifford.
This includes everything from “learning
how to correctly use flea combs, dematting brushes and nail trimmers to how to
determine which shampoo is right for their
dog,” she added.
Henschen swears by the adage, “Use
what you sell; sell what you use.” Having
a full-service salon has proven advantageous for sales and consumer education.
“Whenever a customer is interested in a
grooming product, I will enlist the help of
a groomer,” Henschen said. “The groomer
uses the item every day, so they can really
speak at a different level than I can. Plus,
it always gives a sense of reassurance to
a customer having a groomer say, ‘This is
what I use every day.’”
When you are unable to have face-to-
face interaction, often the web is the next-
best thing. That’s what John Paul Pet relies
on, though the company has something
else to offer: a program for consumers and
retailers with tips on how to shampoo pets
“It’s a helpful guide on handling your
pet during bathing; it’s fun and informa-
tive, and you end up with a ‘shampoo-
ologist’ certificate,” said Dial. “We are
also designing small grooming areas for
veterinarian clinics as an added service for
their clients. We feel that the attention to
skin and coat during the grooming process
directly relates to health and wellness for
the pet … any lumps or abrasions can be
reported to the attending veterinarian for
PROMOTION AND DISPLAY
Smaller samples of products are a good
way to draw in potential customers, said
Fang. The company provides small trial-size shampoo pouches for retailers at a low
price to pass along to customers.
Operating a full-service grooming salon within a retail store provides a unique
merchandising opportunity, and placement of those products is key.
“I never have food in the entry of my
store," said Lifford. "Food is what drives
clients to the store, so I keep my front en-
try endcaps stocked with items that maybe
the client didn’t think about, like grooming
products, brushes, shampoos, etc.”
She carries the same products that are
used by the in-store groomer and places
them, plus other related grooming essen-
tials, all in one section for a one-stop shop-
ping experience, she said.
Using color to call attention to product
is something that works for John Paul Pet.
“We created colorful hang tags that
give the consumer information about what
is happening with John Paul Pet—think of
mini billboards,” said Dial.
When the company wins awards, the
accolades are highlighted on the tag as
well, she said.
Vibrant colors also are an important
component of Best Shot Pet Products’ company philosophy, which is why it encases
its products in upbeat, colorful packaging.
“Retailers are seeking out new manu-
facturers and products to refresh their
image,” said Campanella. “It’s more eco-
nomical to restock shelves with these new
vibrant products that literally can change
one’s image overnight versus expensive
Sometimes hearing about a product and
seeing it in action is the best way to sell it.
“We have a flat-screen TV in our store
that rotates through different things,”
Henschen said. “I can talk all day long
about how we love the FURminator, but
having the video rolling and showing it in
use, and showing the hair flying off, sells
it better than I could.”
IN WHAT WAYS IS THE
GROOMING MARKET GROWING?