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America’s Coolest Stores Honorees Gather for Global Panel




PETS+ has gathered the visionaries behind three of America’s Coolest Stores to present a panel discussion on merchandising as part of Global Pet Expo’s education program. “Store Design That Surprises” takes place at 4 p.m. Thursday in room W203B at the Orlando Convention Center.

Featuring three store owners who took home honors in the 2018 America’s Coolest Stores Contest, the panelists will share how they create a memorable experience through store design and how they create unique fixtures and displays through upcycling, repurposing and custom construction.

Panelists include: Leel Michelle of Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe in San Diego, CA, which took first place in the 2018 America’s Coolest Stores Contest; Ed Kazmarek of Urban Pooch Canine Life Center in Chicago, IL, which took third place; and Trace Menchaca of Flying M Feed Co. in Houston, TX, which took an honorable mention.

PETS+ Senior Editor Pamela Mitchell will moderate the discussion.

There’s still a day left to enter the 2019 America’s Coolest Stores Contest. Click here ( to learn more and enter.

And be sure to catch the PETS+ crew at booth No. 4039.

Panelists Trace Menchaca, Ed Kazmarek and Leel Michelle



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

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