BY LIZE TT BOND
In the world of retail, an indi- vidualistic perspective often translates to the accurate as-
sessment of trends, innovation
and the ability to shift focus to
remain on the cutting edge of
consumer demand. It’s a credo
embraced by All Pets Consid-
ered in Greensboro, N.C.
When Kristine Godfrey
started her business in 1992, the
lifelong animal lover ignored
warnings that her refusal to sell
puppies or kittens would be her
“Kristine was definitely
bucking the trend,” said Ali-
son Schwartz, manager of the
25-year-old store. “She was told
her business would never sur-
vive without selling pets.”
Instead, Godfrey partnered
with local rescue organizations
to promote pet adoption, joining
a movement that was beginning
to gather momentum. Her in-
ventory featured pet foods and
supplies for all manner of crit-
ters, including aquatic creatures.
As consumer emphasis on
nutrition and the supply needs
of dogs and cats expanded,
aquatics and small animals were
phased out. Soon, the original
3,000-square-foot site was outgrown, and a move to a new location in 2000 brought the entire
square footage to 12,000.
At the heart of All Pets Considered is stellar customer education and service, presented
by outstanding, knowledgeable
“We focus on staff educa-
tion in order to truly assist our
customers,” Schwartz said. “We
go to great lengths to research
the issue and help with product
Associates participate in
bi-monthly training hosted by
various manufacturers. Indepen-
dent study and research, along
with sharing new information
with fellow staff, is encouraged.
Monthly meetings with local
veterinarians provide health is-
sue updates. On the sales ;oor,
a “cheat sheet” reviews many
common health issues, offering
dietary suggestions that could be
beneficial to a particular symp-
tom or issue.
“Many of our employees use
this sheet as a jumping-off point
to assist customers in food selections,” she said.
In an effort to cultivate this
high level of service, monitor
traffic flow, ensure sufficient
staffing and maintain the overall atmosphere, a secret shopper
service has been used at All Pets
Considered since 2000.
Building and maintaining a
strong relationship with manufacturer representatives is another aspect to providing an
exceptional customer service
experience and enhancing community involvement.
“Our reps have been behind
some of our events or have
shared ideas that we have tailored to be productive in our
store,” Schwartz said.
A DIVERSE MIX
In-store products include a
broad selection of premium pet
foods at a wide range of prices.
Proponents of raw feeding can
peruse four double-glass freezers and one single freezer. Three
freezers in a back room handle
“We’re big on raw, but we
also offer a large selection of
freeze-dried and premium kibble,” Schwartz said.
Foods are primarily sourced
from the USA, and no foods or
treats contain ingredients from
China. Also, regionally sourced
products receive priority.
The store’s Biscuit Bar displays goodies from a local baker.
Local artisans are represented, as well.
“A local woodworker provides double diners and treat
canisters,” Schwartz said.
The store offers supplements,
grooming products, collars and
leashes, and toys, as well as gift
items, including cards, pet boutique items, T-shirts, figurines
and seasonal items. Pet attire is
“I dress my dog, Merida, in a
new outfit everyday; she comes
to work with me and I post a
photo on Instagram,” she said.
“This has really boosted our
To compete with online
commerce, Schwartz recently
launched delivery service.
In 2005, Schwartz phased out
the store’s dog day care when she
lost part of the green space be-
Bucking the Trend
Ever evolving, influenced by no one and a believer in outside-the-box thinking,
the independent spirit of one North Carolina pet store soars.
Location: 2614 Battleground Ave.,
Greensboro, NC 27408
Management: Kristine Godfrey,
owner; Alison Schwartz, manager
Employees: 15 full time, 15 part time
Years in business:
Products and services: Dog
and cat food and treats, Biscuit Bar,
supplements, grooming services,
grooming products, toys, collars and
leashes, boutique items, pet supplies,
adoption days, cat fostering, community room, educational seminars
YEAR of the
Eighteen years ago, Tim Bryson, then the proud owner of two black Labrador puppies,
was thrilled to discover All Pets Considered. The store met the nutritional and supply
needs of his pets throughout the course of their lives.
Today, Bryson continues to patronize the establishment, shopping now for his adopted pets, Lila and Otis. Knowledgeable sales associates and a broad selection of premium
foods and products keep him coming back, he said, adding that supporting a local business, rather than shopping at a big-box or grocery store, is another key consideration.
“It’s a locally owned store, plus they do their research regarding healthier, holistic
food choices,” he said. “My dogs are very important to me, and I appreciate that support.”
When Lila suffered joint issues, Bryson opted to follow a holistic treatment route.
“The supplements recommended to me at All Pets Considered really cleared up Lila’s
problems,” he said. P H O T O