Hardware Retailing

MAY 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2017 112 Pet Shopper events like a mobile veterinarian that can visit a store on occasion to take appointments. "Owners can bring their dog in so they can get their shots, get a checkup and so forth. Those kinds of things that can help an owner care for their pets in a convenient way is neat," she says. Those connections don't have to stop with a vet. Ralph is a connection for BDK with the dog boarding business in case a customer is looking for someone to watch their pets. That can expand beyond the pet category—for example, referrals for plumbers—but being known as a place with connections in the pet world is important. Events She Attends Educational events have attracted Ralph's attention, especially those that teach pet owners how best to care for their animals. BDK conducts special events that will offer information, such as how to protect pets from ticks. "These kinds of educational tools are how retailers can show they have my pets' best interests in mind. That gets that retailer better business in the long run," she says. A well-stocked pet display is pictured at Race Brothers in Springfield, Missouri. Darrell's Directions: "Partner with dog training organizations, 4-H members showing dogs and cats, and veterinarians. We work with a vet that knows we stock the feed, supplement or medicine he will recommend." "We cater to the high-end pet customer. That means quality feed and treats that are really beneficial to the animal. It might cost more, but high-protein feed will satisfy a pet with smaller servings, ultimately costing the owner less." "Keep the pet department prominent if you want customers to know you for your pet products. Ours is right by the entrance to the store and stocked up at all times. Pets can be a great draw for customers, and being open and friendly to pets is a big part of that."

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