BE READY TO ENGAGE
Despite increased public awareness about the need for owners to pick up after their pets, further consumer education is
Pet owners need to understand that “not only is it a nuisance and a source of frustration for many people, it can also make people
and pets sick,” said Tara Garland, project manager at Earth Rated in Montreal.
Ryan Anderson, category manager for Radio Systems Corp.’s PetSafe brand in Knoxville, Tenn., said he finds that this category has
very low involvement from end users and that dog owners often gravitate toward traditional solutions out of habit unless prompted to
consider something else.
Given the steady influx of products emerging in the category, retailers must share knowledge with their customers about the most
effective products, said Carina Evans, CEO of Dog Rocks USA, based in Lake Worth, Fla.
“Talking to customers about their needs is a great start,” Garland said. “It’s easy to assume that one format is plenty or to purchase
the format you prefer best, but one thing we’ve learned is that there is a huge variety in needs between customers.”
Other suggestions included demonstrating products in the store for customers to see and touch, as well as offering product
“We have the 300-roll dispenser pack, which is a bit like a tissue box,” said George Bramble, co-founder of Beco Pets, based in
London. “We suggest to the retailer that they have one of those on the counter so they can offer to the customer a poop bag they can
tear off. It shows off the high quality of the product, and it works really well because the following week the customer comes back to buy
Garland suggested that stores hold “poop awareness” days or host a park cleanup. Ann Greenberg, founder and president of A Pet
With Paws in New York, recommended that retailers help organize “there is no poop fairy” events in their communities and offer dog
waste products available for sale.
Tara Garland of Earth Rated
suggested that stores hold “poop
awareness” days or host a park
introducing Lavender Mint Shampoo
and Detangling Spray
cleanup. Pet owners need to
understand that “not
only is it a nuisance
and a source of
many people, it can
also make people
and pets sick.”
CA MULTIPRONGED APPROACH
Waste management products can end up being an afterthought when customers
visit the store.
“Waste removal products are as unglamorous as it gets in this business,” said
Paul Baumann, owner of All Paws Pet Center, which has stores in Wichita, Kan. “
Nevertheless, all customers need them, and we make sure products like this are in line of
sight of high-traffic areas like our food center.”
Industry insiders recommend merchandising these products in more than one
location in-store to increase their visibility.
for Dogs & Cats
for Dogs & Cats
Lavender Mint Detangling Spray
Paul D. Cannella, president and founder of PoopBags, based in Suwanee, Ga.,
suggests that in addition to having a designated pet waste section, retailers set up a
clip strip or a small display of the products within the food area.
“If you’re buying one, you need the other,” Cannella said.
Coupling waste products with food purchases can increase sales, as can offering
a discount program to keep customers coming in for them, he added.
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Shane Wisdom, certified dog trainer, owner of Dog Wisdom and inventor of
Gotta-Potty, based in St. Peters, Mo., recommends placing the products close to the
register, creating another opportunity for staff to educate customers.
Keystone Pet Place in Mount Joy, Pa., finds success by staying on-trend, like
offering scented bags, updating merchandise with new brands, and stocking a varied
product assortment with different price points and systems to cater to a broad range
of consumer needs and wants, said April Ruhl, store manager.