Every Dog Has its Day at This Iowa Pet Store
Jennifer Kluesner, co-owner of Des Moines, Iowa-based Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe along with Josh Garrett, Kevin Schnell and Jesse Kluesner, discusses the products that are trending with customers—and the ones she favors—at her store, which has been open for eight years.
Pet Product News: Tell us about your fostering program.
Jennifer Kluesner: I personally foster and adopt out for several different rescues. In five years, we have adopted out more than 400 fur kids that have been in my house as fosters. The store is great for working with the dogs and socializing them. The big extra perk is that sometimes people come in and had no idea they were looking for a new pet to add to the family.
PPN: What are the top-selling products in your store right now?
Kluesner: West Paw is a wonderful line for us due to the fact that it’s all made in Montana and out of recycled soda bottles [toys and beds]. Walk-e-Woo is another wonderful line of collars and leashes that we carry that is made in Colorado. K9 Granola Factory treats, which are all made in the USA—we have eaten and tried out the whole line right along with our dogs. Our top sellers are the soft baked cookie line and the carob drops.
PPN: What are your favorite products right now?
Kluesner: West Paw toys and beds due to the fact that they have a satisfaction guarantee on all the products, which customers love. Walk-e-Woo collars and leashes and bow ties. They come in so many fun fabric choices; people love the selections.
PPN: What trend have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
Kluesner: We are seeing more and more consumers learning about food, treats and products all made in the USA. They want to know more about where things are made. For food and treats, [they question], are they made here in USA and where are those ingredients coming from.
PPN: What business challenge are you currently in the process of tackling?
Kluesner: Trying to do it all! Keeping things fun and fresh for customers. Of course, during the holidays you want several selections for gifts for the humans and the dogs. But I find it a challenge after the holiday rush is over. You want those people still coming in to get food supplies and see something new that they did not see during the holidays.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve in 2018?
Kluesner: So many goals are always on my list. Of course, making more money. Branching out the customer base and seeing more new faces to make our customers. Finding new and fun products for our customers and their pets’ needs. Working on more education tasks for the staff to stay up-to-date on all the products. Better managing skills—keeping up on the 500 tasks that always seem to be waiting for you.
PPN: What is your best tip for connecting with customers?
Kluesner: We just love pets. We love seeing pictures, videos and, of course, our customers’ pets in store. Our goal is not to just sell merchandise to everyone that walks in the door. It’s merchandise that they need. Speaking with them and seeing what brought them in that day, what products are they currently using, what is working for them and what is not working for them.
Get an inside look at Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe in our gallery below.