This Florida Retailer Is All in On Aquatics
Aqua-Holics in Orlando, Fla., is dedicated to serving hobbyists, said co-owner Laura Hampton. And, she said, the store is learning how to deal with the challenges of selling livestock and competing with online retailers.
Pet Product News: What are the top-selling products in your store right now?
Laura Hampton: Our top-selling items are:
• Frozen Food: Hikari Mysis Shrimp
• Dry food: Fluval Bug Bites
• Filtration: Hydor canisters
• Substrate: CaribSea Ocean Direct (for saltwater) and CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted (for freshwater)
• Décor: CaribSea LifeRock (for saltwater) and CaribSea Dragon Stone (for freshwater)
• Maintenance: Boyd Chemi-pure Elite
• Reef additives from Ocean’s Blend
PPN: What are your favorite products right now?
Hampton: Our favorites are all of the above. We only recommend products that we use ourselves. Puffers are my favorite fish.
PPN: What industry trends have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
Hampton: Nano tanks, for saltwater and freshwater. The lighting on the Hagen/Fluval nano tanks is perfect for saltwater (Evo tanks) and freshwater plants (Spec tanks).
PPN: What business challenge are you currently in the process of tackling?
Hampton: Our biggest challenge is competing with the big online stores. We are currently focusing on companies that utilize minimum advertised pricing (MAP). Retail stores are the ones educating the customer on products. We will be supportive of companies that value the retail stores.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve this year?
Hampton: We will continue to ensure that our customer service is a priority, and focus on carrying quality products and healthy livestock.
PPN: What are the greatest challenges of selling livestock?
Hampton: The challenge with selling livestock is educating, or re-educating, customers. Most of the time, they aren’t aware of the appropriate tank size or compatibility of the fish they want. Everybody wants “Dory,” but most don’t have a large enough aquarium. There is a lot of misinformation out there, from the internet, friends and TV shows. We care about our livestock and want to ensure they will be well taken care of.
Get an inside look at Aqua-Holics in our gallery below.