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Continuing to Serve

Alison Schwartz takes over the All Pets Considered brand, expanding the business and community outreach with a creative flair and love of pets.

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All Pets Considered, Greensboro, NC

OWNER: Alison Schwartz | FOUNDED: 1992 | LOCATIONS: 2 | AREA: : 11,700 square feet Battleground, 7,500 square feet Sedgefield | EMPLOYEES: 27 full-time, 8 part-time | FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM: allpetsconsidered | WEBSITE: allpetsconsidered.com | TOP BRANDS: Fromm, Steve’s Real Food, Farmina, Open Farm, Stella & Chewy’s, Nature’s Logic, Primal, SmallBatch, Dr. Marty’s, Petcurean, NutriSource, PureVita, Zignature, Lotus, A Pup Above, Green Juju


Alison Schwartz, Merida and Aurora

Alison Schwartz, Merida and Aurora

A PART-TIME POSITION LED to a full-time passion for Alison Schwartz of All Pets Considered. She joined the staff in 2008, became general manager in 2012, and took over full ownership in July of this year from Kristine Godfrey, who founded the Greensboro, NC, store in 1992.

Schwartz’ focus on pets, rebranding and expansion has fueled continued growth. The Battleground Avenue location’s 3,000 square feet of floor space now spans just under 12,000 square feet with six groomers and four bathers. A second store opened in the Sedgefield neighborhood with 7,500 square feet and a self-serve dog wash in 2018.

Passing the baton from Godfrey to Schwartz allows All Pets Considered to remain locally and woman-owned, plus continue its mission: Provide premium pet food and help local pets in need. “In this day and age of stores getting corporately purchased,” Schwartz says, “it was important to both of us to continue to do all the good in our community that All Pets Considered has done for 32 years, while allowing Kristine to retire.”

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GOING BIG ON BRANDING

When the Battleground store rebranded, remodeled and expanded in 2014, local caricature artist Erik Huffine nailed the desired theme of “sophisticated whimsy” with a new logo, then expanded it into artwork for the grooming department and front window wraps. “The window artwork has been so recognized as part of our brand that it also became part of our Sedgefield location and is featured on the back windows of our delivery van,” Schwartz says. To help pay for the window wraps, she smartly sold brand placement to companies such as Acana, Primal and Zignature.

All Pets Considered’s whimsical logo also features on its social media pages and store stickers handed out at events. It inspires seasonal decor and displays in the two locations, which have an open industrial feel warmed by homey fixtures and design touches.

Schwartz further expands brand reach on social media with Friday Facebook Lives each week on topics ranging from the best chew toys to DCM grain-free discussion updates. In addition, she interviews pet food and treat brands and even hosts game shows with fun giveaways.

Customers make the store’s selfie station a must-visit when it changes to a new theme.

CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY

Prioritizing community outreach, All Pets Considered has its own event coordinator who hosts a variety of pet-centric happenings two to three times a week, in store and out at breweries, coffeehouses and even baseball games.

Events double as community goodwill and advertising. “My people are what’s so great about the store, and you can’t get that from a piece of paper or from a billboard,” Schwartz says. “When you have somebody there in front of an individual and having a conversation about their pets, it’s the best form of advertising.”

In the store, All Pets Considered’s largest annual event is Small Business Saturday, which generates 150% over an average Saturday in sales. Three other big events — Adopt-a-Palooza, Birthday Bash and fall Boo Bash — average about a 20% to 30% increase in sales on their respective Saturdays.

The All Pets Considered crew attending community events serves as the best form of advertising, Schwartz says.

Birthdays are a big deal at All Pets Considered, with plenty of cookies and celebratory accessories.

OFFERING EXCEPTIONAL ONLINE SERVICE & DELIVERY

All Pets Considered’s online ordering went live in March 2020. “Just in time for the world to shut down!” Schwartz says. “It quickly became our lifeline and has continued to be a valuable way for us to retain customers.” Today, online orders for delivery contribute 5% and growing to the overall bottom line.

Delivery radius extends 11 miles around each location, which covers most of the county. Orders over $25 are delivered for free. An average of 15 orders go out seven days a week in the bright pink delivery van. Drivers make up a big part of the delivery program’s success. They learn about the products All Pets

Considered sells to offer advice if needed. “They are our customer service delivered right to our customer’s doorstep,” Schwartz says.

Most recently, the store added heyhuman to its online customer experience. The messaging platform allows staff to interact with customers via video or chat calls, and serves up a growing library of video content featuring Schwartz sharing information about products and services. “This small feature has proven useful with customers who engage with the videos. They stay twice as long on our site as those who visited prior to having the platform. We frequently change up the videos to keep repeat visitors engaged.”

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The colorful murals at the Battleground store now also adorn the Sedgefield location.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Today, pet supplies remain All Pets Considered’s bread and butter. Professional grooming and the self-service dog wash contribute a quarter of overall business annually. Schwartz has set her focus on growing delivery for the original Battleground location and continuing to develop the newer Sedgefield store, which has seen its revenue grow by 15% this year compared to same period in 2023.

She dreams of adding a third store in the next five years as well as services such as mobile grooming, where All Pets Considered can serve individuals at retirement or age-55-and-up communities, who own pets and need services that come to them. After all, Schwartz says, “The base of who we are is part of the community.”

Customers appreciate having access to Sedgefield’s four self-wash stations.

Five More Cool Things About All Pets Considered


1. Themed Selfie Stations: With benches built from delivery pallets, the team decorates the popular selfie stations seasonally. Themes started with Sofa King Cool, then on to Kissing Booth (February), Kiss Me I’m Irish (March) and the spring-themed If You Were A Flower, I’d Pick You. Schwartz says the station engages with customers in a fun way in store and on social media.

2. Secret Shopper: A service secretly shops each location monthly to ascertain the store’s customer service skills and to ensure there are enough staff at each location to meet customer needs. The shopper grades staff on phone-call etiquette, store presentation, greeting/staff interaction, checkout experience and overall experience, and then gives an overall grade up to 100%.

3. Dog House Gingerbread Contest: Eight treat vendors sent full-size bags of treats for decorating gingerbread “dog houses.” Held at a local cidery, participants paid $30, which included their first drink, a gift bag full of treats valued at more than $100 and a gingerbread house set. The houses were built during a two-hour timeframe, with photos of each posted to social media for voting. The winner received a $100 gift card to All Pets Considered.

4. Radio and TV Commercials: “We write and perform in all our commercials,” Schwartz says, “some of which have been entered into contests with the stations that hosted the ads.” She’s found them to be extremely successful marketing tools. The latest TV commercial, filmed at Schwartz’s house, focuses on the brand’s delivery service and stars her own scene-stealing Dachshunds.

5. Subscription Boxes: Designed around a philanthropic vibe, Bonefactor (dog) and Generoskitty (cat) boxes give back to a monthly local charity partner with themes and brand sponsors changing each time. The $19.99 per month subscription price guarantees a value of at least $40. The program encourages customers to try new products. Says Schwartz, “In May, we had a box sponsored by NutriSource and one of our subscribers returned to purchase a big bag of the NutriSource Chicken and Rice because she said she had never seen her dog so excited to eat before!”

JUDGES’ COMMENTS
  • Todd Dittman, IndiePet:Great use of website to secure consistent and constant delivery business. Great video marketing.
  • Georganne Bender, KIZER & BENDER Speaking!: The sales floor is well signed, merchandised and organized, and the tabletop displays are creative. The T-shirt wall could be in an apparel store. I particularly like the memorial section, first for its empathy and second for the creative use of crates as fixturing. The exterior sign and the window graphics make it attractive and highly memorable to customers and potential customers alike.
  • Molly Lewis, Dog River Pet Supplies: There are so many things I love about this business, starting with the name “All Pets Considered.” Its reference to the NPR show while also truly “considering all pets,” that’s brilliant! Thirty-two years is an impressive track record, and handing the business to a top manager is an owner’s dream come true. Congratulations to Kristine and Alison — your business is super cool!
  • Mike Bioni, Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals and NexPet: Wonderful job with community and customer engagement! It is apparent they have made shopping in the stores an experience. Well thought-out design and layout of both locations. Website is fantastic! Customers are able to get the feel of your store before they visit.
  • Shelly Armstrong, World Pet Association and SUPERZOO: Aside from the fact that both stores are merchandised beautifully — even products for pet parents! — I was extremely impressed with the time given to the creative marketing of the business.
PHOTO GALLERY (26 IMAGES)

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