Connect with us

Benchmarks

6 Stores Using Pet Health Events to Support Customers

Time for some stretch!

mm

Published

on

Today’s pet parents care deeply about their animals. Savvy store owners understand this — they feel the same way, after all — and offer classes on a variety of health and wellness topics.

“We spend quality time with each customer, but by offering them education nights, they get the opportunity to learn on a broader scale about a topic that interests them,” says Christine McCoy, owner of The Natural Pet Enrichment Center in North Royalton, OH. “We also feel that the more we educate our customers on the products that enhance pets’ lives, the better choices they will make.”

Aspen Anderson, co-owner of Desert Raw Holistic Pet in Salt Lake City, UT, agrees and adds that a deeper knowledge also helps customers justify paying a higher price.

“People have to understand the logic behind paying more for better quality,” she says.

Let’s take a look at the pet health and wellness classes McCoy and Anderson offer, as well as those that are working for other stores across the country.

DOG YOGA
HEALTHY SPOT
MULTIPLE LOCATIONS, CA

This small pet-store chain offers a variety of events and classes, including the popular DogaFit by Aimee Hyatt. Held in-store and outside off-site, the sessions cover how essential oils, massage and yoga poses can improve the well-being of people and their pets. “I designed that class to make the students and the dogs happy. It’s a very calming experience,” Hyatt says. Nick Batcheller, marketing manager for Healthy Spot, points to email blasts and social media posts, both organic and paid, as the best ways to advertise these types of events.

THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE
THE FILLING STATION PET SUPPLIES
Tigard, Or

This store sees sales boosts after its classes, but owner Laura Amiton says that isn’t why she offers them. “I believe in connecting with the community in ways that will enrich their lives. Happy, healthy pets help us be happier, healthy as well.” Amiton partners with Kim Grist of Loving Paws Massage to teach customers the basics of this therapeutic practice. She offers this tip for reaching those who might be interested in attending pet health and wellness classes: Post flyers on the bulletin board at your local Whole Foods.

DIETARY ADVICE
DESERT RAW HOLISTIC PET
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Co-owner Aspen Anderson teaches the benefits of feeding raw dairy as well as raw meat in her classes on the topic. “Raw dairy, especially goat’s milk or kefir products, is a source of healthy fats and probiotics,” she says. Taking time to educate her customers is well worth her time. “For every class I teach that has 15 attendees, I usually get one or two loyal long-term customers. For an hour and a half of my time, the ROI is huge if they buy from me for the next two to 10 years.”

 

 

DIETARY ADVICE
THE NATURAL PET ENRICHMENT CENTER
NORTH ROYALTON, OH

“Why Raw, Why Primal” was the first class held at this store’s new location, which has a designated education area. Natural Pet carries several brands of raw food and invites reps to provide more information about the diet itself and their products. Owner Christine McCoy explains, “We knew our customers wanted to learn about the benefits of feeding raw and to ask companies questions directly.” Since the Primal event in April, she says, “We are seeing an increase in sales from the customers who attended that night.”

FLEA & TICK CLASS
TRAILBLAZER PET SUPPLY
CHICO, CA

When store manager Lori Wells noticed an uptick in inquiries about natural flea and tick preventatives, she put together a class on the topic. It covered diet and supplementation — options not always offered by vets — as well as the effects of pesticides on pets. Wells see multiple benefits of holding classes at Trailblazer: “Overall, classes build a relationship with our customers, which builds both trust and patronage.” They also help animals in need as she asks for a pet supply donation to attend.

 

 

PET FIRST AID
DISTINCTIVE PET CARE/KEN CARYL PET SPA
LITTLETON, CO

Dawn Olson teaches Pet Tech first aid and CPR classes through her two businesses. Because neither has enough room to hold the number of people who sign up, she partners with doggie daycares and animal shelters, and rents space at a grocery store near her grooming shop. The classes, even though held off-site, create customers for Olson. “Students will then hire me for pet sitting,” she says, adding that she also hands out business cards with a grooming coupon on the back.

Pamela Mitchell is the senior editor at PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Spot the senior Boston Terrier as her assistant.

Advertisement

FEATURED VIDEO

Pet Sustainability Coalition

Pet Sustainability Coalition Presents: Critical Sustainability Strategies for Retailers

This webinar, held on November 7, 2019, is the second in a series from PSC discussing how retailers can establish sustainable practices in their business. Moderated by PSC’s Andrea Czobor, the webinar unveils data behind the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, what retailers have to gain from connecting with these purpose driven consumers, and a new PSC program that makes finding these products easier for retailers.

Promoted Headlines

Benchmarks

Pet Pros Give Their Customers the Raw Facts

From displays and signs in-store to webinars and graphics online.

mm

Published

on

MANY CUSTOMERS ARE intimidated by the idea of moving their pet to a diet that contains raw and/or fresh foods and supplements. These six pet businesses use a variety of tools to educate pet parents and to promote these types of products.

Fur Baby Pet ResortMILFORD, DE

This display — and star of a Facebook post — encourages customers to supplement kibble with fresh foods or switch to a biologically appropriate diet. Staff rotate the raw and other products regularly, with Primal, Green Juju, Enhance and Vital Essentials making an appearance along with their brochures. Toy fruits, veggies and eggs add to the educational fun. “Most people come to us for our customer services and knowledge, but even we have those who walk in and believe they know better. (People who read headlines and marketing, but not labels.) These displays are perfect for customers like that, as it’s important for us to educate our customers as much as possible, however we can,” Sherry Shupe says. “These types of offerings create loyal customers who trust us to help make the best decisions for their pets.”

Theo Pet GroceryMONTCLAIR, NJ

Owner Gregori Lukas regularly interviews integrative and holistic veterinarians for his YouTube channel and Facebook pages. In this video with veterinarian Melissa Walker, they talk about how her recommendation to feed a fresh food diet improved and extended the life of a senior dog she didn’t think would live more than a few more months. These interviews drive business to Theo Pet Grocery.
“Educational videos on social media allow consumers to become educated even before they step foot in your store. When they hear fresh food is healthy from a veterinarian, they are more likely to be receptive,” Lukas says. “When a customer is receptive, they are willing to shop and support your business.”

Flying M Pet Grocery HOUSTON, TX

Trace Menchaca launched club:RAW in the fall, announcing it on social media and in her newsletter, a charmingly old-fashioned publication written and drawn by hand and printed on paper. Members get personalized feeding plans, 10 percent off all raw purchases, and can attend a monthly in-store club meeting, during which they will meet other raw feeders and get free samples and sneak peeks.

Wags to Whiskers PLAINFIELD, IL

Inspired by Primal Pet Foods’ Build a Better Bowl campaign, this display illustrates how to supplement a kibble-based diet with fresh and raw foods. Each tier represents a different element of the optimized meal: a high-quality dry food, add-ins from the store such as goat milk and bone broth, and add-ins from home such as eggs and fresh fruit and veggies.“Customers like the visual and think it’s an attractive, colorful display,” Janelle Pitula says, adding that “My staff refer to it when trying to assist customers in adding fresh or high-quality ingredients to bowls. This little display has helped a lot … to have one place to go to quickly to allow people to visualize adding in product to make kibble better!”

Advertisement

Youngblood’s Natural Animal Care Center & Massage GREENFIELD, IN

One of Samantha Youngblood’s favorite resources to share with customers is the Be Your Best Dog: A Guide to Health & Wellness booklet, written by Dr. Chris Bessent, a veterinarian and founder of Herbsmith and The Simple Food Project. “My customers are thinkers and love to research on their own before they buy. I support this and respect them. This book helps with that decision. It is a resource for supplements because of how incredible the book is written, and for nutrition because she touches on the importance of food in regards to many ailments such as allergies and bladder health. I try not to use this book to promote other products, just because it’s not fair to the company, but I guide them into a talk of food — whether that be The Simple Food Project, raw, toppers, etc. This book has been a game-changer with our sales, and I wish more companies would invest the time, effort and money to make similar handouts. Absolutely invaluable.”

Tail Blazers Copperfield & Legacy CALGARY, AB, CANADA

In addition to owning two Tail Blazers, Holly Montgomery works as a photographer. It allows her to create Insta-worthy images like this one, which she uses to educate followers about raw and fresh foods, and to attract customers to her stores. “We very often have people coming in, asking for specific products they’ve seen in our posts,” Montgomery says.
#petfoodpornwithapurpose

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

Haul Out the Holly — and Maybe Even Yoda — for Snappy, Happy Holiday Decor

For a snappy, happy ever after, get those decorations up now.

mm

Published

on

IT’S THE MOST wonderful time of the year. Customers are picking out gifts, and booking extra grooming appointments and boarding stays. Best of all, you get to deck the halls to further boost the holiday cheer and spending. These pet businesses shared how they do exactly that.

Southern Barker
LEXINGTON & LOUISVILLE, KY

On any given day, Southern Barker looks pulled from the pages of a decorating magazine. The holidays are no different. Special touches like the countdown calendar pickup truck and faux snowballs add festive charm to displays, those of holiday and non-holiday products alike.

Paddywack
MILL CREEK, WA

How sweet is this giving tree? Customers are able to purchase an item off the tree for a specific forever foster or adoptable pet, with the lineup changing each year with the organization. White tinsel and snowflakes also decorate this store, with Christmas and Hanukkah items adding pops of color throughout.

Advertisement

The Dog Store
ALEXANDRIA, VA

Forget the Grinch! The Dog Store favors another green creature, Yoda, in one of its holiday displays. Making an appearance in the front window are Santa Snoopy and seemingly every single holiday dog toy on the market. Passersby can’t help but stop to take it all in, and then head inside for more.

Wagging Tails
WEST HARTFORD & WOLCOTT, CT

Pet-centric holiday paintings are a running theme in the lobbies of these boarding facilities. Santa holds a puppy, giving him a candy cane to lick. A kitten plays with ribbon on a wrapped gift. And a Westie looks out a snow-dusted window, with a Christmas tree in the background. All creating a merry mood for clients dropping off their pets.

Advertisement

Bark On Mulford
ROCKFORD, IL

Festive items mix with year-round gifts to give both categories a boost during the holidays. Dog breed ornaments decorate Bark on Mulford’s Christmas tree, along with those representing other pets.

Paws on Main
COLUMBIANA, OH

This store took full advantage of last year’s town Christmas parade theme: ugly sweaters. It devoted the front window to holiday sweaters for pets, and threw a Snuggly Paws and Ugly Sweater Party. Not only did Paws on Main sell a slew of sweaters, it won the Best Dressed Animals Award at the parade!

Woof! Woof! Pet Boutique & Biscuit Bar
BRISTOL, RI

Treats remain a priority during the holidays at this store, with the famous biscuit bar and bakery cases getting a festive makeover. And look at the bone-shaped tree lights and garland with moose ears. Adorable.

Captivating Canines
WESTERVILLE, OH

This store takes part in its neighborhood’s annual storefront holiday decorating contest. White twinkle lights hang from the awning, helping to light the window displays that feature festive holiday decor. Good luck this year!

Continue Reading

Benchmarks

6 Pet Hotels That Will Make You Kind of Wish You Were a Dog

This is high-end boarding for dogs!

mm

Published

on

AT FIRST GLANCE, you might think some of these accommodations are for people. But look closely — at the size of furniture at Chateau Poochie, the water bowl at Yuppy Puppy and the video-chat camera at Bark Life Market. This is high-end boarding for dogs! Also, the pups in other pics give it away.

Wagging Tails
WOLCOTT & WEST HARTFORD, CT

Wagging Tails Pet Resort & Spaw has staffed cage-free boarding with toddler furniture as lounging and bedding options. Among the playful offerings are a pirate’s ship, racecar and train.
Krista Lofquist buys Little Tikes and Step2 beds new, but also finds them gently used on Facebook Marketplace.

NIGHTLY RATES: $50 (includes daycare)

Yuppy Puppy
O’FALLON, MO

Each of the Plaza Suites at Yuppy Puppy pet spa and resort features a tempered-glass door, garden-view window and outdoor fenced-in area for suite guests only, plus raised bed, couch and included amenities such as bacon-and-egg brekkies in bed.

Jessica Cooke expanded boarding options to include suites when moving to her current location. “I was quite nervous that I would end up upgrading dogs for free to utilize the space. But the suites are full every day, and I have clients booked in them into 2020. We are opening a second location, and the rooms will primarily be these.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $55

Advertisement

Barker’s Lane
DAVIE, FL

Grooming clients can also board at this salon, in one of four stylishly appointed rooms worthy of an Instagram-famous pup.
Julianna Reese offers this advice for those inspired to use similar decor. “You have to know the dogs to determine what can be left in the room. We do put down pee pee pads at night, but the rugs and bedding are washable and bought at places like Ross, Home Goods, Tuesday Morning.”

NIGHTLY RATES: $45 and higher

Bark Life Market
SEMINOLE, FL

The all-inclusive Penthouse at Bark Life Market’s newest resort measures 10 by 13 feet and includes sliding patio door, resort decor and music, a queen-size bed and flat screen with DogTV, as well as private web cameras and a Petchatz video chat and treat dispenser. Also included, egg and cheese omelet for breakfast, salmon or beef fillet for dinner, and tuck-in treat at bedtime.

NIGHTLY RATES: $99

Chateau Poochie
POMPANO BEACH, FL

This doggie day care, spa and pet hotel has multiple levels of accommodations, including its most luxurious: The Tea Suite. Measuring 14 by 14 feet, it has seating and sleeping options throughout, a crystal chandelier, flat-screen TV and webcam, plus additional included amenities.

NIGHTLY RATES: $250, and pet parents can pay an additional fee to have a staff member spend the night in the suite.

Advertisement

Wag Central
STRATFORD, CT

At Wag Central, staffed slumber parties are one of the higher-end boarding options. Pre-screened day-care regulars can stay together in a room that has four custom-made bunkhouses. Angela Pantalone says they cost about $800 each, including beds.

“It’s a great upsell for pups who are anxious or first-time boarders. The human-interaction aspect is a big draw for owners who are concerned about their pup as they travel, too.” She adds, “We are able to multitask the use of this room for dog families who insist on keeping their pups together when we are not opening it to sleepovers. It’s a nice puppy nursery, too, for daycare. Overall, it’s been a hit!”

NIGHTLY RATES: $68 (includes daycare)

Continue Reading

Most Popular