AND THE RETAILER OF
THE YEAR SAYS ...
Lisa Senafe, president and founder
of Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Retailer of the
Year 2016-2017, with 39 stores in five
states, noted that stellar education
and knowledge serve as the cornerstone to pet retail success.
However, other factors to remaining competitive include featuring
innovative foods and product in an
What trends are you seeing looking ahead
There are a lot of innovative foods
coming out, with semimoist or baked
foods doing well in our stores. We
definitely see our customers seeking nutrition-boosting products that
can be added to their pets’ foods, or
those that already have these ingredients mixed in. These foods create
a mealtime that is more fun and flavorful for pets.
What about treats and supplements?
I’m seeing a lot more interactive treats, those with more of a purpose, and that
includes dental, joint, and skin and coat care products. It’s like a little added bonus for a customer wanting to feel better about feeding his or her dog a treat. In
supplements, I see the senior lines growing. One we are interested in is the Ark
Naturals senior line, Gray Muzzle. They’ve done it really well.
How will Bentley’s cater to the millennial market?
Transparency is key, so I think it is important to have a good understanding of the
foods and products being carried, and to stand behind those items. These consumers want to feel that retailers believe in the products they are selling. Millennials
are also online shoppers, so offering an “experience” along with that all-important
education piece will encourage these customers to come in to shop. They’ll see
the difference between shopping at an independent pet retailer versus ordering
online. I think that’s a huge plus.
What about competition with online shopping?
The online business is always going to grow, but I think brick-and-mortar
stores are similar to a grocery store; when you run out of milk, you run out of
milk. We hear this all the time in our stores, “I had to feed my dog eggs this
morning because I ran out of food.” Those folks are driving in after work to
pick up food for their pet’s dinner. However, there will always be consumers
who will be ahead of the game and preorder online. At Bentley’s, we have that
aspect factored in and offer local delivery, providing the convenience of online
shopping to customers in our market, as well as the benefit of supporting local
business. If a customer wants to shop in their pajamas at their computer, they
can do that.
Pet Product News International January 2017
BY LIZE TT BOND
After a bustling holiday season, independent pet retailers have bid adieu to 2016 and are looking ahead to the New Year—and anticipating the products and foods that will be trending in the months ahead. Retailers of the Year, both past and present,
weighed in on what customers will seek in 2017, on everything from foods, treats and
supplements to sourcing, including sustainable and humane practices, online competition, and what it takes to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world of pet retail.
Sherry Redwine, co-ownerof Odyssey Pets in Dallas
Pet Product News’ Retailers of the Year look forward to what 2017 will bring, including hot new products.
Millennials will continue to grow in the market share. The
baby boomers are aging out of pet ownership and so, at Odyssey Pets, we’ve started to concentrate on the millennial
market. At 33, I’m on the cusp of being a millennial myself
and have begun purchasing products that I like, not what I
think Grandma might like.
Bobby Wise, ownerof George, whichhas storesin California
We expect the call for novel protein ingredient foods, or diets
that contain superfoods, to continue. Our George house-made
treats are also popular.
Lorin Grow, ownerof Furry Facein Redlands, Calif.
We are seeing demand for more holistic, natural products,
with less use of chemicals. Due to the nature of the Furry
Face philosophy in that regard, new customers are seeking
us out all the time. Pet parents want better choices in food,
toys, supplements and “fixes.” More and more consumers
are turning to raw and holistic/homeopathic remedies, so
much so that there is a bill backed by the American Veterinary Medical Association to shut down the ability of all nonveterinary businesses to offer advice, including nutritional,
without a veterinarian present.
Biff Picone, co-ownerof Natural Pawz, whichhas stores in Texas
We think a big trend for 2017 is treats with new ingredients
such as hemp, kale and coconut, and are excited with the potential of these treats coming to market.