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Editor's Note

Happy New Year!

We have much to look forward to in 2021.




WHAT. A. YEAR. Like most of you, I will remember 2020 as one that challenged me like no other — both personally and professionally.

That said, I am now firmly focused on 2021. How could I not be with so much to look forward to?

In addition to resuming favorite activities — once safe to do so — I get to see two more America’s Coolest Stores profiled in this issue: Sniffany’s Pet Boutique in Albany, OR, and The Dog Store in Alexandria, VA.

And there are still four remaining 2020 winners to feature before we announce a new batch in our August-September issue!

Speaking of, the 2021 America’s Coolest Stores contest has opened at Be sure to submit your entry by the early-bird deadline of March 1 so I can offer advice on how to make it a winner. Need more time? The final deadline will be March 15.

Now onto what else I’m looking forward to: attending trade shows. While I understand and fully support the decision not to hold Global Pet Expo in person this year, I’m disappointed. I so look forward to the show, learning about new products and products new to me, and getting to meet you, our amazing readers. I’m eager to learn more about Global Pet Expo Digital Access, happening March 24-26, and will share information as it comes to me. I plan to attend and will just have to wait until SuperZoo, Aug. 16-19 in Las Vegas, to see you in real life.


Finally, I am most looking forward to seeing how you all will continue to evolve your businesses in 2021. Some members of the PETS+ Brain Squad have shared their plans — see Inbox — and I would love to hear from more of you. My (virtual) door remains open at the email address below and at

Happy New Year!

Five Great Tips From This Issue That You Can Do Today

  1. When updating your procedures manual, ask for employee input. They may have found a more efficient way to do a task. (Manager’s To-Do List, p. 9)
  2. Focus on your moon shots this year. (Tip Sheet, p. 22)
  3. Keep of log of samples sent with online orders to keep surprising customers. (Nancy Guinn, p. 23)
  4. Pair storytelling with action when making recommendations. (Adrian Archie, p. 24)
  5. Prep a three-minute tour of your chew bar. (Dani Edgerton, Benchmarks, p. 27).

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.



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