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Perfect by Design

Rob Emery has created a cohesive brand for his pet-supply stores, integrating it into all aspects of the business and seeing significant growth.



DOGPerfect, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch & University Park, FL

OWNER: Rob Emery; URL:; FACEBOOK:; INSTAGRAM:;  FOUNDED: 2019; AREA: University Park: 3,250 square feet | Lakewood Ranch: 3,750 square feet | The Landings of Sarasota: 6,100 square feet; LOCATIONS: 3; TOP BRANDS: Stella & Chewy’s Fromm Earth Animal Farmina Forza10 Bully Sticks Organic Answers Annamaet Primal; EMPLOYEES: 26 full-time, 8 part-time

Rob Emery

Owner Rob Emery

TAKE ONE STEP into any DOGPerfect location, and you’ll quickly realize this isn’t your typical pet store. Walls in bright shades of green, brown and purple meet high ceilings and hardwood floors, and spacious interiors make customers feel welcome as soon as they enter. Glass-front freezers showcasing raw foods, wooden barrels holding plush toys, and a wheeled display cart filled with cookies and other fresh-baked dog treats are strategically placed at the entrance to evoke the ambiance of a gourmet grocery store. The Chew Bar, located just a few steps away, offers 50 different products in glass jars, reminiscent of an old-fashioned candy shop.

“We used two design companies to develop the look and feel and the color scheme for the stores,” says Rob Emery, founder and chief executive officer of DOGPerfect, which opened in 2019 with locations in Lakewood Ranch, University Park and Sarasota, FL. “We directed them to use a market-style approach, as if you’re at a market picking out fresh vegetables, and we didn’t want people to have to walk through canyons of dog food with really tall shelves.”


Customers can see from the front of the store to the back, and products — for dogs and cats — are displayed on easily reachable fixtures. Without the towering shelves to hold inventory, Emery had to be selective with the products he carries. “We had to eliminate some brands that other stores carry because we didn’t have the space,” he says. “We chose to focus on quality in getting the suite of products we want in our locations.”

Destination Stores

DOGPerfect’s thoughtful design and spacious floor plan encourage customers to bring their pets and spend time there, whether it’s to use the self-wash station, get their pups groomed or check out the latest toys. “Customers stay in the store a good long time,” Emery says. “They bring their dogs and show them off, and our team loves to love on them. It’s pretty awesome to see the different breeds.”

About six months ago, all three locations underwent renovation to create a “Healthy Kitchen” department, which includes the Chew Bar, freezer section and counter space for pet parents to consult with on-site nutritionists. This section replaced space previously used for puppy training classes that didn’t generate sufficient revenue per square foot. Emery wanted the raw foods front and center, to serve as a focal point, because one of the store’s competitive advantages is the availability of nutritional advice from Kyle Baker, DOGPerfect’s senior pet food nutritionist.

“We could probably keep Kyle busy all day every day,” Emery says. “There’s a lot of word of mouth about him, and he gets two to four calls a day from new customers because he’s helped so many dogs.”

Brand Cohesion

DOGPerfect’s store design extends to its marketing tools, including its website, advertisements and other marketing materials. features brand colors, but it’s also uncluttered with plenty of white space, and simple to navigate for online shopping and to book grooming. A recent ad for it displayed just a photo of a dog on the beach and “Fun in the Sun” along with a call to action: “Visit”

“We try to make everything as simple as possible, whether it’s in the store or outside,” Emery says. “We use simple signage and simple directions.

I’m constantly talking to our marketing people to tell them to cut half of their words out. We treat everything like a billboard — you have to make it work in a couple of seconds.”

Customers can easily find what they’re looking for thanks to helpful and friendly signage throughout.

Customers can easily find what they’re looking for thanks to helpful and friendly signage throughout.

One-Stop Shopping

In addition to selling food and other pet products, and providing nutritional counseling, the stores offer full-service grooming and self-wash stations that include shampoo and the use of brushes, combs, towels and aprons.

Since the typical DOGPerfect customer is someone who wants a personal approach, Emery fosters a sense of community through the Perfect Club, the store’s loyalty program. For an annual fee of $129, customers get 15% off dog and cat food, unlimited use of the self-serve dog wash, unlimited nail trims, a nutrition consultation, 20% off grooming and cat litter, discounts on bulk biscuits, a free plush toy and VIP shopping nights throughout the year.

“It gets customers to come back repeatedly,” he says. “The easy sell for our team is the nail trimming — customers can just walk in and get nails trimmed.”


Donate Local

Emery also takes a thoughtful approach to community involvement. Rather than supporting a host of nonprofits, he works with seven or eight local organizations throughout the year.

“We’ve been able to develop some great relationships with local rescues,” Emery says. “Our biggest partnership comes through the Bonus Wishlist program. We identify which of our products best fit their needs and then create a custom website for them to take ‘orders.’ When someone goes to the site and donates a bag of food, DOGPerfect matches that purchase so the shelter receives two bags.”

The store promotes these mini-sites, located within the store’s website, to its customers, and the program has been wildly successful. When a shelter recently had a litter of puppies with parvovirus, it raised close to $13,000 worth of food, pads, treats and toys through Bonus Wishlist.

A free Perfect Adoption Package also provides support to the local rescue community while attracting new customers. Adopters can bring in their paperwork within 60 days of adoption to receive one-year of discounts on food, unlimited self-washes, a nutrition consultation, a free birthday toy, plus access to the VIP nights, all worth $500 or more.

Emery also combines marketing with community involvement by partnering with the WSRZ-FM morning radio show as the exclusive sponsor of its weekly “Company Critter” segment, which showcases adoptable pets from the Humane Society of Sarasota County.

Growth Mode

Despite opening three brick-and-mortar stores right before the pandemic began, Emery says the locations will have combined revenues of slightly under $5 million in 2022. “We’re probably up 40 or 50 percent over last year,” he says. “But I think that’s because we’re still young. There will be a point where we get more established and that growth will go down. We just haven’t gotten there yet.”

Five Cool Things About DOGPerfect

1. RELATED COMPANIES: DOGPerfect is a subsidiary of Emery’s Encompass Pet Group. The company consists of Choice Pet Products, a distributor of food, treats and other pet products; Snuggle Puppy, maker of the plush toy that uses heat and a heartbeat to help calm new pets; and DOGPerfect.

2. A PIVOT IN THE BUSINESS PLAN: Emery originally intended DOGPerfect to be a competitor to the BarkBox and PupBox subscription services. “We had a hard time executing on that,” Emery said. “So, we started down the path of retail.”

3. THE EASTER BUNNY: With the pandemic came the need to offer curbside pickup and delivery. To create goodwill in a time when it was much needed, Emery held a holiday drive-by, during which the Easter Bunny handed out bags of treats and toys. “People who pulled up were tearful that somebody was doing something to create some happiness during that time,” he says.


4. PAID VOLUNTEER DAYS: Each DOGPerfect employee gets one paid day per quarter to volunteer for any pet-based organization.

5. EMPLOYEE INCENTIVES: DOGPerfect offers annual bonuses and fun in-house sales incentives such as BARKO, where associates can mark off squares on a bingo-like card to win gift cards for Target, Amazon and other retailers. One example of a square: “Introduce raw food to a customer who’s never bought it.”




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