Summer Is Calling
Get pet owners thinking about summer now so that they’re
ready for whatever the season has in store.
BY LINDSE Y GE TZ
With summer approaching, pet specialty retailers can expect pet owners to start spending more time outdoors and taking more trips, which means
they’ll be in the market for a wide variety of products that
are perfect for summertime adventures.
The popularity of summer-related products continues
to rise as owners are taking their pets along with them to
the beach, the mountains, the river and other outdoor destinations, said Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets
in Dallas. Pet owners are seeking products that will help
facilitate both fun and safety during these types of trips.
“They’re getting out and getting more active, and they
are looking for good-quality and stylish gear such as life
jackets, backpacks, cooling vests, floating toys, shoes,
boots, frisbees, fetch toys and more,” Redwine said.
Lorin Grow, owner of Furry Face in Redlands, Calif.,
added that in the summer, pet owners typically think
about health issues—and, very often, pets’ skin.
“Itchy skin, allergies, and fleas and ticks are all issues
that come to mind,” Grow said. “So many pet parents are
on the hunt for that ‘magic fix.’ But the fix is different from
animal to animal, depending on the cause.”
Grow said it’s important for pet owners to have a lot of
options to meet a host of different needs that arise come
Robin Kershner, executive vice president of Sykesville, Md.-based Pet Palette, said that during the season
the distributor sees an uptick in sales of a variety of summer-related products such as hydrating bottles like Gulpy
or H204K9, floating toys from Hunter, ZippyPaws, goDog
and VIP, and flotation devices.
“Walking also increases in the summer, especially in
more rugged places, so we see EzyDog products increase
in sales as they are targeted for outdoorsy-type dogs,”
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GET CREATIVE WITH THEMED DISPLAYS
Brightly colored window displays are how Sherry Redwine, co-owner of
Odyssey Pets in Dallas, said she gets customers in the mood for summer. Color
can play a strong role in creating a mood and influencing sales.
“We do a floaty toy, life vest and waterproof collar endcap as well,” she
said. “And products like exercise pens are great for campsites and RV parks so
you can let your dog roam around without actually being ‘loose.’ Often, it just
comes down to giving your customers ideas.”
Using props in displays can go a long way in getting consumers to think
about summer, said Robin Kershner, executive vice president of Sykesville, Md.-
based Pet Palette.
“Items like sand, beach towels, pails or small beach chairs can make
customers feel like it’s summer,” Kershner said. “For those close to the
mountains, a camping or hiking theme would help customers to see some of
the products available to them to make their pets more comfortable and safe.”
Betsy Hintzmann, co-owner and partner of Four Dogs Pet Supplies in
Charlotte, N.C., said that stores typically tie a health and safety theme in with
their summer products. From sunscreen and bug spray to paw protection and
travel gear, there are a lot of products that pet owners can use to help protect
their animals in the summer, she said.
“Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder to pick up those types of
products so that you’re ready for the season,” Hintzmann said. “We always
change our front display based on season and will create a summer-themed
display with items that promote health and safety during activities like
backpacking or watersports.”
Dr. Jyl Rubin, DVM, founder of PetnPeopl in Orangevale, Calif., said that at
her veterinary practice she constantly changes the front window display based
on season and pertinence.
“Staying on top of timely subject material is so important and positions
you as an expert to your customers,” Rubin said. “It’s a great way to get them
thinking about what products they might need for the upcoming season.”