IT’S A RETAIL LIFE
What is Kriser’s best known for?
Brad Kriser: We are proud of our education and reputation as a trusted
What is the greatest challenge facing pet retailers today?
Kriser: Online sales. It’s more of the wild, wild West as things evolve and
change quickly and the tax-exempt status for these entities may be lost.
If you look at the way the online retailers do business, it’s the discounts
they give, but on top of that, they don’t have to pay sales tax?
In the pet industry overall?
Kriser: Full transparency, and that applies to all products but primarily
consumables—food, treats or chews.
Any interesting trends right now?
Kriser: The downsizing of pets. If you look at the way people are living
today, it is, frankly, easier to have a small pet. The apartments have size
limitations, and the 35-pound number is very common. That leaves out
a big dog. Plus, the aging population still wants to enjoy pets, but a large
dog that’s going to pull or need a lot of exercise is difficult for these folks,
so they are going down in size as well.
For the future of Kriser’s?
Kriser: Continued growth and excellence.
subject to the same inquiry.
“This way, our customers can come in and safely shop without wondering where a
product is sourced,” Kriser says. “We want our customers to trust the Kriser’s brand.”
In addition to an extensive line of foods and supplies, Kriser’s offers grooming with
a personalized, gentle touch using all-natural products. Grooming rooms present a safe
environment that is visible to consumers.
“The grooming isn’t hidden—it’s all visual so the owners can see what’s going on,”
Services include straight-through appointments for dogs with special needs, blueberry facials, teeth brushing, special breed cuts and cat grooming at some locations.
Groomers are hired for their experience; however, should a bather wish to step up
to grooming, mentors are available to assist in achieving that goal.
“We have also sent our people to grooming schools,” Kriser says. “Generally, this
would be a pack member wishing to go into grooming.”
Community involvement at the store level is encouraged, and myriad gatherings take
place on a regular basis, falling under the banner of the Kriser’s Kares initiative.
“Our managers are motivated towards local collaboration,” Kriser says. “We want
to be part of our neighborhoods.”
Managers champion public spiritedness, and enjoy a feeling of autonomy and own-
ership of the store they direct.
“Our marketing department provides tools, but we want our managers to make the
decisions and keep it local,” Kriser says. “Otherwise, we are dictating what should be
done, and we don’t want to do that.”
In support of local rescue and shelter efforts, frequently held adoption days at the
store level offer a paw-up to homeless pets in search of a forever family.
Fundraising activities, holiday parties, nutritional workshops, photo days, breed-spe-cific meet and greets, puppy playgroups, birthday parties and massage clinics are among
the many happenings taking place at individual stores.
“These events are specific to each location,” Kriser says. “We hold a lot of events,
sponsorships and donations in each of our markets. We like to be hyper-local. The im-
pact is greater that way.”
On a national level, Kriser’s efforts include support of service dog organizations
offering life-saving trained canines to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress
In 2016, Kriser’s joined forces with The Honest Kitchen and Wings of Rescue to airlift
at-risk shelter pets to loving homes.
Customers stay apprised of the many goings on through social media and individual
store calendars. Kriser’s website blogs often highlight a subject of timely interest. For
example, calming products are spotlighted prior to the Fourth of July holiday, providing
education regarding pet anxiety.
Kriser’s content managers are responsible for research and information gathering,
presented in an educational format to the Kriser’s customer base.
“Ultimately, our goal is to provide an overall experience, beginning with a warm
smile and a friendly hello, where pack members get down on their knees to greet visiting
pets,” Kriser says. “If you have happy people and a happy environment, it makes it all
a little bit easier.”
Can your team run with
the big dogs?
• Turn pet parents into loyal,
• Earn a reputation as the place
to go for expertise.
• Develop skills and confidence
that boost sales.
“Micro” courses make a
• NEW Customer Satisfaction
• NEW Engaging Customers
• Pet Retail Basics
• Suggestive Selling
• Cashier Service Basics
© 2018 PIDA
for small retailers.