Who doesn’t love a treat bar?
Customers appreciate being able to buy by the treat, weight or fill-a-bag size. Such flexibility lets them try different kinds without having to invest in full packages.
“They can take as little or as much as they want, and never have to worry about being stuck with a bunch of treats their dog doesn’t like,” Kelly Price, owner of Tail Waggers in Cadiz, KY, points out.
Stores see increased sales from the central display.
“Often people come in for one type of treat, but end up buying several types because they are looking at them in one location,” Amy Schiek, owner of Lucky Dogs in Skaneateles, NY, says.
Adding a treat bar also lets owners take merchandising to a higher level, with some designing their own fixtures or refinishing/refurbishing existing ones. Looking to follow their lead in this increasingly popular trend? Get inspired with these examples.
Lucky Dogs SKANEATELES, NY
In 2017, Amy Schiek added a store to her pet sitting and mobile grooming business. She made sure to have a treat bar in place on opening day.
“It’s fun for people to mix biscuits and see the various chews outside of plastic packaging,” Schiek says.
She worked with a creative contractor to build the wooden bar, which features bone-shaped legs and dog silhouettes on each end. Galvanized buckets hold Earth Animal and Barkworthies chews, and best-selling Pawduke treats.
“Our customers love them. We carry three grain-free flavors and three wheat-free flavors. The cards below each bucket list the ingredients and nutritional details, which is helpful when people also want to know the protein content.”
Miss Doolittles Pet Spa POTTSVILLE, PA
Missie Mattei bought a china cabinet online and gave it a makeover to create the treat bar at her grooming salon. Painted lavender with purple crackle accents, she fills it with specialty items from Pawduke, Claudia’s Canine Bakery, The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. and Preppy Puppy Bakery.
“I have grain-free,” she says,” wheat-, corn- and soy-free, and then treats that are just too cute for words.”
Mattei added the bar in 2017 and has been thrilled with its success.
“The response has been amazing. I now have shoppers who are not grooming clients stopping in for favorites or the latest thing on the treat bar.”
She recommends bargain shopping at thrift stores for stands and platters, and even using family heirlooms to add a personal touch.
“I was able to incorporate pieces from my grandmother. She was a great cook and a huge dog lover. She would have loved my treat bar.”
The Mane Pup AUBREY, TX
To complement the rustic chic decor of her grooming salon, store and boarding facility, Stacy Smith created a treat bar in 2017 using antiques: a refurbished dresser, plus jars and trays in different sizes and shapes. Placing the bar, stocked with everything from beef sticks to peanut butter biscuits, near the entrance has proven a success.
“It’s the first thing people see when they walk in and the last thing they see before they leave. It makes a good impression, and I sell lots of treats!”
Flying M Feed Co. HOUSTON, TX
The birdseed bar at her pet-supply store proved so successful, Trace Menchaca replicated the rustic design for dog treats in 2017. She fills the bins with Wet Noses products.
“It’s one of the best parts of our store. Customers love it, and it totally boosted sales,” Menchaca shares.
She says the bar does have a downside.
“Our store dog, Kee, gets a treat every time a customer goes to the bar. She went from a white Lab to a polar bear!”
Tail Waggers CADIZ, KY
To create the treat bar for her grooming salon, owner Kelly Price and her husband, Dustin, repainted a set of cabinets, added plastic food bins and sewed a canopy in 2016. Offerings rotate regularly, and she says the most popular are those from Pawduke and Claudia’s Canine Bakery that look like human treats.
“Our carob chip cookies, animal crackers and old-fashioned fork-pressed peanut butter cookies sell out on a regular basis,” Price says. “They look and smell good enough for us to eat!”
K-9 Bath & Body NESQUEHONING, PA
Elizabeth Lisella added multiple treat bars within her grooming salon and store in 2017. Treats — from Bare Bites, Le Petit Treat and other bakeries — and chews sit atop custom-made bone-shaped nesting tables and in a refurbished hutch. Like many owners, she uses easily updated chalkboards for signage. A This & That Snack Station adds to the offerings.
The General Store COLLINSVILLE, IL
Cory Giles takes a different approach with his pet-supply store’s treat bar: He fills it with free samples.
“I’ve set up a sample bar in our checkout area so customers can help themselves to samples, and see and smell the treats. Several of the treats we stock, most notably the Soft Bakes line from K9 Granola Factory, really sell themselves once you open the package because they really smell great,” he says. “We are seeing a huge uptick in treat sales by offering samples.
“The psychology of giving samples like this is interesting as we’ve seen quite a few people that, when offered a sample, don’t take a sample but instead just purchase a package of treats.”
Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-Tique KANKAKEE, IL
Razzle reigns over the treat bar at her human’s store, thanks to a large portrait that hangs above. Simple cubed bookcases hold metal buckets filled with chews from Canine Butcher Shop, Jones Natural Chews, Earth Animal and Whimzees. Atop the bar sits a raw bar from Vital Essentials.
Owner Jodi Etienne says the bar itself boosts treat sales, but that “The Vital Essentials neon sign also attracts attention.”
This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of PETS+.