Welcome to SuperZoo 2018!
SPOTLIGHT ON WPA
Hi, I’m Mike Karsting, World Pet Association’s (WPA) new vice president of exhi- bitions. It’s truly a pleasure to be with you and the pet retail community at my first SuperZoo as a member of WPA’s executive team.
Producing impactful events is what drives me. I’ve managed everything from
small meetings to large-scale events for 25-plus years. Most recently, I worked for
National Convention Services, leading event and operations teams in all aspects
of trade shows, conventions and consumer events. I also spent 18 years with TEN:
The Enthusiast Network planning productions, which included the EnduroCross
event series, Motor Trend International Auto Shows, and “hot rod” car shows and
concerts. Working with automotive events may seem like night and day from pet
retail, but, at their core, these events are quite similar, sharing a common goal of
showing people what’s new in their industry and bringing people together over a
shared passion and profession.
While I see some real similarities between SuperZoo and other shows, I can say
with certainty that SuperZoo is special. That’s because WPA pushes the envelope to
exceed pet professionals’ expectations. We provide an annual information-packed
platform for the community to come together, share ideas, build connections, learn
from experts and discover new products.
In my years building events, I’ve learned how important it is to continually update
and improve the on-site experience both logistically and in terms of content. My goal
is to ensure that you have the best possible show experience and that SuperZoo continues to serve as a world-class destination for both trend-driven products, dynamic
content, experiential events, productive networking and business education.
I hope you’ll enjoy some of this year’s show enhancements, all of which have
been added to improve your on-site experience and help you find even more of what
you’re looking for and overall value in attending. We added new digital signage and
interactive maps to help you more easily navigate the show floor, which now has a
third hall to allow for even more local and global exhibitors to participate in the event.
We’ve also added two new areas, the Made in USA Showcase and the Pet Tech Cen-
ter, where hundreds of new products and
innovations will be highlighted.
The Made in the USA Showcase is exactly what it sounds like: a designated zone
where you’ll find quality, American-craft-ed products. We’re proud to support this
“shop local” idea because we believe it is
essential to helping small businesses thrive.
The Pet Tech Center highlights innovative
technology in the pet industry, helping you deliver digital gadgets, accessories and
other items that will delight your tech-savvy customers while making their lives
easier and enhancing health, safety and fun for their pets. And, the New Product
Showcase is back, debuting 850 new-to-market products. Come vote for your favorites—we’ll announce the winners on Wednesday!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention SuperZoo’s educational curriculum, which I believe is second to none. The program is both comprehensive and on-trend, and I think
you’ll get a lot out of this year’s lineup of sessions. In addition to the sessions, make
sure to drop in on free Show Floor Talks covering motivational, retail and animal
wellness topics, without leaving the expo hall. It’s an efficient way to maximize the
amount of education you get while also exploring our booths.
Above all, in my short time at WPA, I’ve been inspired by your passion for what
you do. You love pets and you are smart business professionals working to deliver
the best possible experiences and products to your customers—people and pets alike.
I’m excited to serve this community through best-in-class, comprehensive pet events.
See you on the show floor. And, mark your calendar for Aquatic Experience 2018
in Secaucus, N.J., Oct. 19-21; Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference 2019 in Atlanta, March
8-11; and SuperZoo 2019 in Las Vegas, June 18-20, with education June 17-19. •
Mike Karsting, World Pet Association (WPA) vice president of exhibitions
For independent pet retailers, we know that every dollar counts. That’s why, in ad- dition to producing world-class events, World Pet Association (WPA) supports the industry by creating a one-of-a-kind resource that helps you keep your competitive
edge in the marketplace. By comparing your data with other independent pet retailers,
this valuable tool helps you address top concerns such as standard ordering practices,
uncovering unique value in your product offerings, and benchmarking your revenue
and expenses against similar businesses.
The 2018 World Pet Association Retail Operating Performance Report will present a detailed analysis of key operating data from the retail pet industry. Based on confidential
surveys from retailers like you, the report includes a compilation and analysis of retail
sales and operations data. Responses come from all sectors of the industry—pet retailers
with animals, pet retailers with dry goods only, grooming stores with retail supplies and
more. They also include store locations in communities ranging from major metropolitan areas to small cities and rural areas in all regions of the U.S. Data is segmented by
sector so that you can evaluate your business against others similar to your own quickly
and easily. Last year’s report provided industry nuggets, including:
• The typical business reported sales growth of 5.3 percent in 2016
versus 2015, and forecasted sales growth of 5.8 percent in 2017.
• The typical business spent 1.7 percent of its total revenue on
advertising and promotion.
• More than 75 percent of pet stores with animals did not allow
ordering through their own website.
The report also includes a companion online tool that provides customized purchasing and financial recommendations for businesses. For example, you can enter
settings indicating business type, number of employees, store location and other
criteria in order to see comparisons to stores exactly like yours. It puts competitive
data at your fingertips for free.
“I love the option to customize online because it saves so much time digging
through a report for the right data point,” said Patrick Donston, owner of Abso-
lutely Fish in Clifton, N.J. “It’s the type of support every pet retailer dreams of
The Retail Operating Performance Report is such a valuable tool because of the
support we get from pet retailers each year. The more businesses that complete
surveys, the more accurate the data and the better baseline you have to gauge your
business results. Plus, every retailer who takes the survey is guaranteed to receive
a free copy of the final report, saving you hundreds of dollars and countless hours
versus consolidating this information on your own.
“The survey was easy to complete, and the whole process, including the finan-
cial documents, only took 15 minutes,” Donston said. “A small price to pay for the
wealth of information we receive in return.”
Participate in the industry’s only benchmarking survey. Submit your data
and receive a complimentary copy of the WPA Retail Operating Performance Report
upon publication (a $495 value). All answers and financial data are completely
Complete the online survey by July 15, 2018, at worldpetassociation.org/
A WORD FROM WPA
WPA Offers Must-Have Resource
Retailers who complete a 15-minute WPA survey will receive a free copy
of the organization’s Retail Operating Performance Report.