By Leel Michelle
Grooming clients trust and depend on their groomer’s advice for their pet’s health and well–being and yet few groomers take advantage of those income generating opportunities. It’s not because groomers don’t want the additional income. Groomers often shy away from pet retailing because of the many questions that follow when a groomer is lacking the knowledge and experience that comes from working in a professional retail environment.
Who is my target retail client? What pet retail supplies should I buy for my clients? Where do I buy them? How much should I buy? Who has the best prices? How do I display and merchandise my inventory? How do I market my pet retail and compete with corporate retail competition?
If you’ve wanted to add or improve your pet retail but need a friendly little nudge to help you break down the science and art of pet retailing…keep reading!
For over ten years, I have been selling pet retail in my award winning retro grooming salon & boutique (Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe) in San Diego, CA. For most of those 10 years I have been interviewed, emailed, called, and messaged a multitude of “how to” questions based on the design and merchandising of my business due to the content of our social media profiles and website. Now I’m giving back by simplifying pet retailing for my fellow groomers!
Pet retailing can be an intimidating and often overwhelming endeavor for many groomers. By breaking down the art and science of retailing into smaller, more manageable blocks of information, groomers are able to see their pet retail business grow a little at a time. This makes pet retailing more attainable and manageable while still operating a grooming salon.
With a corporate retail management and merchandising background, I have used several techniques that are employed in other industries that have helped my business to become the brand it is today. Whether you are building a new salon or updating your existing one, there is bound to be at least a couple of useful pet retailing “pearls of knowledge” for everyone. Speaking of a useful pet retailing pearl, how much income does the horizontal and vertical square footage of your cash wrap bring in monthly?
What’s a “cash wrap” you say? Your cash wrap is the location where your client pays their grooming bill in most grooming salons. You have a captive, money holding clenched fisted client standing there waiting for you to help them. While they are waiting for you to check them in or out, they need to find something to do. Why not offer them the opportunity to buy the little everyday necessities they need for their freshly groomed pet?
The cash wrap is a highly underutilized area in the pet industry but not true of most retail industries. How many times have you been to a convenience store, grocery store, or corporate mall store and you’ve purchased an item sitting on or near the counter that you just “had” to have? The science of retailing calls this action, “impulse purchasing.” Instead of leaving the vertical wall or counter space empty—merchandise it with last minute “impulse purchase” items.
Think of all the items pet owners need… poo bags, poo bag holders, tennis balls, treats, toys, and so much more! If merchandised and priced well, there are a multitude of items you can use to turn this blank space into a money making machine.
You can start with as little or as much as you’d like and keep growing it until you are satisfied.
Happy Pet Retailing! ✂
Leel Michelle is the owner and designer behind the award winning grooming apparel brand; Retro Stylist Wear, and grooming salon and boutique: Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe. Leel is a San Diego native that has also called Los Angeles, New York, and Italy home. Formal Education in Fine Art, Art History, and Fashion Design has led this animal loving entrepreneur to bring all her passion, talent, and knowledge together to create a memorable retro business for fabulous pets. Leel has also grown the Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe brand to include custom luxury kennels. She also enjoys giving back to the grooming industry by blogging and creating live Facebook posts to assist groomers and pet retailers improve their retail merchandising.