SUMMER LOVING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 91
CLEAN UP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 91 CAUSE AND
Social issues and causes
are increasingly attracting
customers’ attention, and if
retailers are careful and know
their market, they can support
something they believe in
while connecting with consumers on a deeper level.
“We do a lot of promotions here for different cancer
societies, humane societies,
animal control and different
rescue groups,” said Lynn
Klimp, owner of Island Dog in
St. Simons Island, Ga.
Her customer base
remains loyal, she said, and
they appreciate that she
shares their concern for dogs
This summer, Robin Kershner, executive vice president of
Pet Palette in Sykesville, Md.,
said she expects an increase
in sales of the company’s
Rainbow Pride line of bow
ties, and with LGBT Pride and
Awareness Month in June, she
thinks retailers can capitalize
to help sales.
GET THE WORD OUT
Driving sales of dog and cat toys might require more than an attractive display,
retailers reported. Stores can boost sales by singing a product’s praises and raising
consumer awareness of what’s on the market.
“Any time I have testimonials, other than just me saying it, it helps drive product
[sales],” said Lynn Klimp, owner of Island Dog in St. Simons Island, Ga. “I have a lot of
customers who are very loyal to me. That’s what keeps your business going.”
Another helpful strategy for retailers is to have employees test toys with their
own pets so they’ll be able to share the experience with customers.
“We relate it to our own dogs,” said Nancy Okun Taylor, co-owner of Cat N Dog
Stuff in Port Charlotte, Fla. “We test the toys that we bring in on our own dogs and tell
customers about it.”
Because so many summer toys and accessories focus on activity outside
and durability is such a large selling point for customers, it might help to promote
warranties for manufacturers who offer them. Both West Paw Design and goDog offer
guarantees, Klimp stated.
“People love that guarantee,” she said. “If [dogs] rip the toy up … they can send
encourages retailers to place the product at eye level, said COO Pete Stirling.
“Additional placement, such as double representation in cat and dog
sections, off-shelf displays and in-store use, also positively impact sales,”
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE PRODUCT
Sifting through a myriad of product choices, particularly ones that list a vari-
ety of unfamiliar ingredients on the label, requires a certain type of knowledge
on the part of the retailer. That is why at Petagogy in Pittsburgh, co-owner
Heather Blum encourages employees to use the products in their own homes.
“The best testament as to whether a product is effective is from someone
who has experience using it,” she said.
Lorin Grow, owner of Furry Face in Redlands, Calif., agreed, adding that
retailers can influence buying choices if they have detailed product-use
information. She said that consumers see buzzwords such as “stain remover,”
“odor control” or “safe” and want to know if a product truly works.
“Obviously, an affirmative answer alone isn’t really what they’re looking
for,” Grow said. “They want you to tell them how it works, why it’s different
and what makes it work better than anything else. Knowing the buyer’s
intended area of use along with a related explanation of application, how the
product will likely perform and what results are to be expected can provide
the confidence the buyer needs to choose accordingly,” she said.
Manufacturers can help retail partners explain the ingredients in their
products. Fizzion in Henderson, Nev., suggests ways for retailers to teach con-
sumers about its products via direct interaction with stores and information
sheets, said Dennis Sheirs, vice president.
SynergyLabs is redeveloping its website to provide educational whitepa-pers and videos and also plans to use QR codes on its packaging so customers
can get instant information about the products, said Christina Twomey,
director of training and national salesperson for the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based
company. The company offers training seminars for store managers onsite.
Plush Durable Dog Toys
Contact Ellen at 248-705-5601