Pet Product News International March 2017 100
BY AUDRE Y PAVIA
Products that combine fashionable innovation with safety and urability are trending right now in the high-end collar and leash category, according to both manufacturers and retailers.
“Consumers are becoming more educated about leashes and collars that best suit their dogs’ needs,” said Larry Cobb, CEO of The
Company of Animals U.S. in Davenport, Fla. “They are also demanding unique styles for their dog accessories. Consumers want functional, comfortable products that come in a variety of colors and styles to
harmonize with their dogs’ personalities and lifestyles.”
Diane Thomas, marketing manager for Coastal Pet Products in
Alliance, Ohio, has seen a growing demand for high-end collars and
leashes as dog ownership continues to increase.
“Consumers are looking for high-quality, durable and fashion-for-ward collars for their dogs,” she said.
Designs recently introduced to the marketplace aim to meet these
needs and include handcrafted leather collars in classic looks by
Coastal Pet Products; circuit boards, aliens with spaceships, monsters,
robots and ninjas patterns by 2 Hounds Design; and styles paying
tribute to Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. by Kurgo.
“We are seeing a migration away from flashy accessories, like
rhinestone collars, to more practical products that ser;e a specific purpose and are highly durable and secure,” said Gordie Spater, chief
business officer for ;urgo in ;alisbury, ;ass.
Collars and leashes that are secure and will last are a priority for
dog owners shopping for high-end products in this category.
“Our customers and the end consumers are always looking for
new seasonal wear with quality and value,” said Donna Bodell, vice
president of Up Country in East Providence, R.I. “They like to refresh
their assortment with seasonal styles, but also with durability that
makes it worth the dollars spent.”
Colleen ;cCrac;en, C;O of ;lanet Dog in ;estbroo;, ;aine, said
that although consumers are looking for collars and leashes that are
bright and fun, they also want durability and comfort.
“We have found that dog owners are looking for collars, leashes
and harnesses that are fun, but that also last and are comfortable for
their dog,” she said.
Customization is another trend retailers are seeing in the high-end
collar and leash category.
“Customers are looking for more handcrafted, quality collars and
leashes, and customizable collars,” said Christian Velasco, co-owner of
D.O.G. Pet Boutique and Daycare in Los Angeles. “We’ve created a great
partnership with the brand RN Design, where customers can choose
from a wide assortment of genuine Italian leathers and hardware to cre-
ate a unique collar or leash. We have a catalog of moonstones, Swarovski
crystals and leathers that customers can view at our store.”
Janene Zakrajsek, co-owner of Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Paw-
bar, which has locations in Southern California, also sees the custom-
ization trend at play in her store.
“Clients choosing to purchase a luxury collar typically favor quality, unique styling, craftsmanship, and, oftentimes, customization
where they can choose the crystal/stone colors, leather color and either brass or stainless hardware,” she said.
;anufacturers of high-end collars and leashes ha;e a ;ariety of suggestions on how to market this category, which naturally lends itself
to eye-catching displays that can highlight product designs, colors
The world of high-end collars and leashes is brimming with new products
that marry style and design with functionality and safety.
“To sell high-end collars, know your customer demographic. Know their
style and what is important to them. Stock items that are important to
the customers who come into your store.” —Alisha Navarro of 2 Hounds Design