November 2017 Pet Product News International QUATIC MARKETPLACE
Retailers can use decorations and ornaments to catch
customers’ attention and drive livestock sales.
BY E THAN D. MIZER
When it comes to tank decorations, there’s something for everyone, and pet specialty retailers can use décor offerings to help draw in new aquarists and boost repeat sales opportunities.
“Our big focus at Aquarium Adventure here in Columbus, [Ohio,] is getting new
people started in the aquarium hobby,” said Bill Wymard, owner of the aquatics
ilies are really fo-
cused on bright
colors and unique,
a lot of space to dé-
cor items, Wymard
“We have 18
feet of endcap
space and 36 of
gondola space for
he said. “That’s a
huge amount. It’s
probably 25 percent of our gondola space.”
Several retailers reported dedicating a lot of room on their shelves to decorations.
Maintaining a variety and quantity of product in stock helps to drive sales, as well.
“We have two showcases full of ornaments,” said Steve Maletzky, owner of Tropical Lagoon Aquarium in Silver Spring, Md. “It’s one of the best-sellers we have. I
just randomly pick stuff. We sell a lot because we have a lot.”
In terms of variety, the two main types of décor items—naturalistic and fantasy
or cartoon decorations— both tend to be popular, with a recent resurgence in fantasy
items and especially colorful plastic plants.
“In the old days, everyone was doing natural-looking green and brown plants,”
Wymard said. “Now, everyone wants bright red, purple, blue, pink and orange
plants. Anything that’s bright seems to be selling very well. Anything that will glow
under an actinic light also is very popular, and we’re selling lots of them.”
At The Wet Spot Tropical Fish in Portland, Ore., naturalistic décor sells best, said
owner Marcie Rivera. She carries locally manufactured ceramic ornaments, which
sell well, she noted. Her best-sellers are real driftwood décor and rocks, followed by
silk plants. However, more fanciful items also move off the shelves.
“We do carry the licensed Penn Plax lines, and they do pretty well for us, especial-
ly around the holidays,” she said. “That’s when they really pick up.”
Specific characters found in the Penn Plax line are perennial favorites, retailers
“There’s still a market for fantasy, cartoon-type stuff,” Maletzky said. “We sell a
lot of SpongeBob ornaments.”
It might help to pay attention to popular children’s media to get ideas.
“A lot of the existing lines, such as the Penn Plax ornaments … such as Nemo and
SpongeBob products—all of those are very popular,” Wymard said.
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