PRIORITIZING INSTRUCTION INCREASES SALES
As the travel category grows, pet specialty retailers and manufacturers are
prioritizing pet owner education, industry insiders report.
“Consumer education is paramount to making sure that consumers
understand how to safely travel with their pets and understand the key
features and benefits, sizing, airline requirements, etc.,” said Neil Werde,
managing director of canine development for Worldwise in Novato, Calif.
Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, and founder
and owner of Earth Heart in Dundee, Ill., agreed. “Education remains crucial
in helping customers recognize and understand what makes a product
safe, effective and affordable for not just the dogs, but for the entire family,”
Repeatedly, industry insiders cited the following three key methods to
effectively educate customers:
“Conversation is our top one,” said Cristina Kulkowsky, retail operations
manager for Healthy spot, which has stores in southern California. “We try
PRODUCTS THAT PAMPER
BarkLogic, a brand of New York-based Logic Products, is launching
the BarkLogic Aloe and Flaxseed Deodorizing line, which consists of
four products. The line is free from sulfates, phthalates, parabens
and polyethylene glycol (PEG). The cruelty-free, vegan line is also
infused with natural plant-based enzymes and lemon peel essential
oil to break down odor-causing molecules, said Jill Taft, founder of
Longview, Texas-based BioDerm Laboratories, maker of the Bio-Groom brand, recently added to its Indulge line featuring argan oil.
“This product is a crème rinse to complement the shampoo that
has been reformulated to add extra benefits including extra shine
and conditioning to the skin and coat,” said vice president Justin
Pohl. “We have completely revamped the look of the Indulge line.
We wanted to do something to the packaging that would enhance
Natural Paws in scottsdale, Ariz., has released Dry Clean Dog,
a natural spray to keep dogs clean and smelling spa fresh, said
founder Elyse Horvath.
“It’s great for the spa segment because it’s clean and easy to
use, it’s effective in removing dust and allergens from the coat,
and it’s got that incredible natural aromatherapy of sweet lavender
mint,” Horvath said.
How do you sell more spa products?
based Radio Systems Corp., maker of the PetSafe brand. “As we see
the travel category rise, we can attribute much of that to awareness.”
Safety remains a prominent theme for dog and cat owners, followed by ease of use and style, according to retailers and
“We have noticed a growth in the request for travel products
to increase safety, not only for the pet, but also for the driver,”
said Steve Dunker, president of Tails to Remember Pet Services in
According to Neil Werde, managing director of canine develop-
ment for Worldwise in Novato, Calif., the uptick in people travel-
ing with pets in the U.S. and internationally has resulted from “the
increased quality of product solutions that promote safety, conve-
nience, and comfort for both the pet and the pet parent.”
The travel industry, from airline carriers to hotels and restau-
rants, is also “promoting pet travel and making great efforts to ac-
commodate and welcome pet-friendly travelers,” so more consum-
ers are taking their pets with them on family vacations, he added.
At Firehouse Pet Shop in Wenatchee, Wash., co-owner Jennifer
Larsen said, “Front packs, especially slings, and strollers are popular
for smaller dogs, with strollers and bubble pods [popular] for cats.”
For cats, ease of getting them into the carrier or stroller as well
as harnesses are a prevalent request, according to retailers and
Spater noted the interest in harnesses for cats, too.
“We know a lot of people use our harnesses for cats as we’ve
seen them posted on Instagram—there’s even a cat owner’s travel
hashtag,” Spater said.
“TRAVEL” CON TINUED FROM PAGE 101
“SPA PRODUCTS” CON TINUED FROM PAGE 102
“Our biggest success with all things grooming
is that almost everything can be found in our
dog wash. So when customers are standing
there trying to figure out what to pick, we mention that they can bring their dog into the dog
wash and try all the brushes, shampoos, sprays
and more to make their choice. Tons of customers fall in love with a product they wouldn’t
normally have bought.”—KIM MCCOHAN,
chief happiness officer for Bend Pet Express,
which has two locations in Bend, Ore.
“Educating people is so important to me. It’s the reason
I opened this store. While we certainly do take steps
to optimize sales such as organizing by brand, for us,
it all really comes down to finding those educational
opportunities to truly help pet parents with their
problems.”—MOLLY SMITH, owner of Republic of Paws
with stores in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.
“Our self-serve dog wash definitely helps us to sell more
spa products. The customers use it there and like it, and
then we recommend that they purchase the product to
take one home for times that they can’t make it back
to the store quickly or have a sudden need arise. The
cross-promotion of both the dog wash and the products
works great.”—LAURA ANDREWS, storemanager at Pet
Things, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff Co. in Douglasville, Ga.