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Inbox: Letters From Our Readers for May-June 2017

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Whole Lotta Love

First, I love the shape and feel of the mag. Second, I loved the clean cover. More than anything, this mag is one of the first that really gets what the smaller business needs. We want growth and to have real doable ideas. The pros that you have in the mag are just great, the suggestions are paramount. I love the direction you are taking this mag. Keep it up. Krista Robertson, Barkely Square Pets, Falls Church, VA

  • My clients look to me to be the expert in trends in the pet product industry. I look to pets+  to help me with that. I love the product-specific info that I read … more of that please! Thank you! Diane Pekarek, Corporate Canine, Valley City, OH
  • I love the magazine! I don’t usually read all of the magazines I get (usually if there’s something interesting), however I always find that every page in your magazine has something useful or something to teach me! Alli McDonough, Fido & Stitch, Grand Rapids, MI
  • I absolutely loved, loved, loved the Manager’s To-do List with the many suggestions. Many of these have become ideas that I want to try out in the next couple of months. I would love to have an article about hiring and retaining the right staff. For several years I have had an awesome staff that have now all left in the last six months to take on “real career” jobs — leaving me hiring an entirely new staff. The struggle to do this is real! Alison Schwartz, All Pets Considered, Greensboro, NC
  • Generally, I thought the content was more interesting and useful than the other pet dealer magazines. I’m not interested in new products or remedial retailing tips about grouping like products together. I want fresh ideas for how to make my store stronger and more appealing. I want to increase traffic, improve my website, learn how to arrange my store to improve customer flow, see how other people are displaying their products successfully, etc. Joyce Connelley, Marshall Grain Co., Grapevine, TX
  • Pets+ has things that I am so eager to read and learn good customer service from! Monica Swank, Lupine Kennels Boarding and Grooming, Amery, WI
  • I loved, loved, loved the marketing advice! I would like more advice as to how a small store can go up against the big internet players. I can’t believe that last week, I bought products from chewy.com for my store, because their online pricing was less than wholesale price offered by four different distributors. Patricia Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA

This article originally appeared in the May-June 2017 edition of PETS+.

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Letters From Our Readers for September

When will it end…

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Timely, Relevant

Overall, I love your magazine. It’s timely and relevant and covers issues that the other trade magazines don’t. Plus, it’s really well designed, which is a big plus. — Jeff Jensen, Four Muddy Paws, St. Louis, MO

When Will It End?

Just yesterday, I saw another news article bringing up the whole DCM/FDA report. It was a new article but reporting the same old story from months ago. Ugh! Will this ever die? Of course, the articles never sum up the 70-page report, which states that the FDA cannot find a link to diet and DCM. Crazy! — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV

Talking Them Down

We are “talking people down from the ledge” every day due to a local vet and social media freaking them out about DCM and grain-free food. — Jodi Etienne, Razzle Dazzle Doggie Bow-tique, Bradley, IL

Burns Me Up

It burns me up about online unlicensed and uninsured folks who do the same business, as I get recommendations and accolades on social media. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT

Issue Du Jour

Burning issue du jour: managing employee personalities and drama. I’m really struggling with having an all-female team of a dozen that can’t seem to keep the gossip or drama in check. — Amy Zounes, CaNine to Five, Clifton Park, NY

Dedicated to Us

I’d just like to say how much I appreciate a magazine dedicated to us! — Kelley Nelson, Central Dawgma & The Dawg Wash, Hagerstown, MD

Make It Better

PETS+ is our favorite industry magazine. What would make it better? If you could expand from strictly retail into a little more of the service industry side. — Tammy Vasquez, Bark Life, Seminole, FL

Revamp Needed

We are looking to hire an interior designer with commercial experience to revamp our store in order to fit more freezers, but I have barely any idea what to expect with regards to cost, how we can do it with minimal store closures, etc. I would love to see a “before and after” article for stores that changed up their look, and how it impacted their business! — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA

Great Articles

I love your magazine and it always has great articles. Maybe a story on small shops and how they hang on in the pet industry? April 1, 2020 will be my 34th year in dogs. — Darleen Wheelington, Waggin’ Tails, Camden, AR

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Letters From Our Readers for August

“PETS+ continues to be my favorite magazine…”

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Cover Love

  • Love the Pug butt! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA
  • Loved the cover dog. Good stuff inside, too. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL

Like the Sharing

  • I like the sharing of ideas we independent stores do — trading tips, advice, etc. — Greg Gorski, Cody Pet Depot, Cody, WY

Love the Products

  • Love this magazine and the glossy pages! I love being able to see all of the new products! — Sandy House, The Store at Paws ’N Effect, Hamden, CT

FB Live Experiment

  • I love the article and live webinar y’all did on using Facebook Live sales. We took your advice and tried one (with a few mistakes). We made $400 in sales on it. I’d say not bad for our first attempt. Your magazine always gives us new ideas to up our sales. Thanks. — David Price, Alabama Pet Foods, Pelham, AL

So Much from Each Issue

  • You guys are awesome!!! Sorry, I know that’s not detailed, but I literally get so much from each magazine. — Amy Zounes, CaNine to Five, Clifton Park, NY
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Look Forward to It

  • I always look forward to getting your magazine. I love all the new ideas, trends, to-do lists and real-life experiences/examples. — Lisa Keppers, Sauk Centre Country Store, Sauk Centre, MN

Favorite Mag

  • PETS+ continues to be my favorite magazine. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC

Enjoy, Enjoy

  • I really enjoy your publication. I especially enjoy the monthly calendar on important pet-related dates and your ideas for management issues. — Bob Howard, DogWatch of Upstate NY, Otego, NY

Fresh Ideas

  • I often run out of ideas, so for me I love the magazine because it gives me fresh ideas to work with. — Paula Gorman, Pet Supplies ’N’ More, Muskego, WI

Continued Support

  • Love all that you do to continue supporting and elevating the collective pet industry! — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA

Real-World Advice

  • Always excellent topics, vivid photos and graphics, and real-world advice and examples. Keep it coming! — Remy Bibaud, Pet Perennials, Pittsburgh, PA

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Letters From Our Readers for July

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More Than Sales

As a veteran of indie pet retail, I am ecstatic over the number of pet parents advocating for their pets by reading, discussing and seeking out alternative remedies, raw food, herbs, etc. Our sales of raw and freeze-dried foods, supplements, CBD and herbs continue to climb. It’s not just the sales we love; it’s the feedback we are getting on the improved health and wellness of the pets. It doesn’t get much better! — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delavan, WI

A Fun Day

We have managed to put our daughter in daycare, previously a cost our budget couldn’t handle. By utilizing ideas from this magazine and its featured stores, and a business mentoring program for pet business owners, I can happily pay that $600-plus a month for my daughter to go make friends and have a fun day! — Sarah Cordes, Knotty Dog, Chelsea, AL

Great Relationships

We love the great relationships our staff members build with our customers. They support us on social media with congratulatory posts anytime our staff are promoted. It is very refreshing to see that! — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX

Grooming: Check!

I’m adding grooming! It’s going to change my store, and it’s exciting and scary at the same time! — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Barkery, Ankeny, IA

Life on the Ranch

We are so busy! My family and I are moving from a suburban townhome to a 2.5-acre ranch in the country, complete with a corral, chicken coop and a 96,000-gallon pond with plenty of wildlife. We’ll Instagram our homestead life adventures soon! — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA

The Next Level

I will be launching my e-commerce shopping for pickup or delivery this week. Hoping will take my little store to the next level. — Kimberly Gatto, The Wagging Tail, Las Vegas, NV

Cool, But …

I love the America’s Coolest Stores feature because the ideas inspire me to try new or different things in my stores. But the latest winner — while extremely cool — is more of an attraction or restaurant than a store. Maybe you need a new contest? — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN

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