No Bad Fur Days
Like human hair, fur requires quality care. Display your on-trend grooming product to greater effect for pet owners’ needs—and your register’s receipts.
Trends in the pet industry continue to closely mirror human ones, pet owners continue to demand transparency in ingredients labeling, and “natural” is the big buzzword when it comes to grooming products, industry insiders report.
“We have seen a higher demand for more natural alternatives for pet shampoos,” said Alison Schwartz, general manager at All Pets Considered in Greensboro, N.C. “Just like with pet food, customers are reading labels and wanting to know the ingredients in the pet shampoos. In addition, we have more customers seeking things like wipes and scented sprays. As with any grooming product, scent is key to attraction. Most customers come in and want to smell the product before making a purchase.”
The trend toward natural might explain why Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets in Dallas, is seeing more products made with such oils as argan, coconut and avocado.
Environmentally friendly products are also important to pet owners.
“As consumers are transitioning to more eco-friendly mindsets, they are interested in products that are better for the environment and their pet,” said Cameron Fang, founder of Reliq in Dallas. “They want a product that will thoroughly clean their dog and leave them smelling fresh without damaging their skin or coat.”
Trends sometimes are based on geographic location. For example, in Florida, there is high demand for products that help with shedding, said Kendra Conze, owner of Health Mutt in Tampa, Fla.
When it comes to nail clippers, think cordless, said Karen Formico, vice president of marketing at Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis.
“Cordless products are in high demand, with the performance of cordless meeting and even surpassing corded alternatives,” Formico said. “More groomers are looking for versatility and ease-of-use that cordless clippers provide. Plus, cordless technology is at a point today that matches the power and performance that groomers are used to in traditional corded clippers, while also being lighter, causing less strain on groomers’ hands and wrists.”
Nothing but the Well-Groomed Truth
EQyss Grooming Products Inc. in Vista, Calif., recently released several new products: Elite shampoo, Elite spray, Chew Proof It! spray and new, improved versions of Flea-Bite shampoo and Flea-Bite spray.
“Elite shampoo and spray are sulfate-, paraben- and gluten-free and vegan grooming formulas using some exciting extracts and natural oils,” said Dallas Van Kempen, president. “Chew Proof It! spray is a powerful new antichewing spray for problem chewing pets of all kinds. Flea-Bite shampoo and Flea-Bite spray got a big upgrade in their formulas and are FIFRA 25(b) compliant minimum risk pesticide products. The new formulas still soothe and provide instant relief for the pet, and kill and repel using a combination of natural plant oils.”
Health Mutt in Tampa, Fla., likes TropiClean for its recently released waterless shampoo.
“We like these for cats, puppies and dogs with incontinence issues,” said Kendra Conze, owner.
TropiClean redesigned its shampoo line, adding its new Lime & Coconut Pet Shampoo and Lime & Cocoa Butter Pet Conditioner.
“We’ve also introduced our TropiClean Deep Cleaning Deodorizing Pet Wipes that help remove dirt and dander fast, and our Aimable Shampoo Pouch for Pets, which dispenses shampoo evenly 360 degrees around the pet,” said James Brandly, marketing coordinator for the Wentzville, Mo., company.
Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets in Dallas, has brought in new lines from Espree that include argan or avocado oils and exclude parabens and sulfates. She also brought in a new Bio-Groom line of shampoos and scents called Natural Scents that uses baobab protein.
“If I understand correctly, it’s a lot like argan oil, but it’s the new kid on the block,” Redwine said. “The scents in this line are complex, refined and absolutely delightful. If you’re looking for high-end, natural and effective, I really like this line. The price point is a little high, so most people still go for the Espree.”
Wahl Clipper Corp. in Sterling, Ill., launched a new line of cat grooming products.
“Cats normally bathe themselves, but on occasion cats will need a deep-cleaning bath,” said Shay Moeller, pet product manager. “Wahl’s new oatmeal shampoo provides cat owners the ability to bathe their cat. The deep-cleaning shampoo uses natural plant-derived ingredients.”
Wahl also released No-Rinse Waterless Shampoo and Refresh Wipes for cats as alternatives to that deep-cleaning bath.
“These items provide a waterless bathing experience with no mess,” Moeller said.
Also new are Wahl’s grooming tools for cats: the 2 in 1 Rake and Blade, geared toward longhaired cats or any cat that develops matts or sheds, as well as the Pin Bristle Brush for removing loose fur and stimulating coats, Moeller said.
“The patent-pending Slicker Brush is designed to brush, remove loose fur and stimulate coats without scratching or hurting the skin,” Moeller added.
Rounding out the line is the new stainless steel nail clipper, which allows cat owners the ability to see where they are cutting, according to the company.
Reliq, based in Dallas, is releasing its Light-Activated Odor Eliminator, a nonenzyme product that can be applied directly to pets as well as on bedding and blankets.
Groom Customers for Greatness
Consumers garner much of their knowledge from retail staff, which is why it is especially important that retail owners train their sales team on the ins and outs of grooming products. This is the philosophy at All Pets Considered in Greensboro, N.C., said Alison Schwartz, general manager.
At Odyssey Pets in Dallas, co-owner Sherry Redwine is passionate about not using products containing certain toxins and conveys this to her customers via signage and direct communication.
Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis., provides educational resources for retailers, groomers and pet owners and recently hired an education manager as well as grooming educators.
“Consumers are more conscious of getting educated on ingredients than ever before,” said Dallas Van Kempen, president of EQyss Grooming Products Inc. in Vista, Calif. “It is important to educate consumers so they receive the correct information—incorrect information is common on the Internet. The most effective means of educating is through a company’s website or social media. We provide education and product training whenever requested.”
James Brandly, marketing coordinator for TropiClean in Wentzville, Mo., said that ingredients should be communicated directly on packaging in a way that is both appealing and easy to understand.
“We recently launched our Pet Professional Portal for our retailers,” Brandly said. “Our portal will house educational information, resources and images for all of our products. The portal will provide them with the tools to educate customers.”
Putting It All Together to Sell
James Brandly, marketing coordinator for TropiClean in Wentzville, Mo., suggested placing products together by brand to keep the consumer from becoming overwhelmed with choices.
“Grouping brands together allows pet parents to view multiple products from one brand, possibly increasing basket value and in-store experience,” he said.
Retailers think that’s the way to go, too.
“Our grooming products are displayed together in our store—the grooming tools, shampoos, wipes and dental products,” said Alison Schwartz, general manager at All Pets Considered in Greensboro, N.C. “We have also added a small retail section in our grooming salon reception area for customers who like to be able to bathe their pet in between grooming appointments. This has been extremely effective up-selling to our grooming customers.”
“We display our grooming products on a wooden bookshelf, which stands out from the metal wire shelves that surround it,” said Sherry Redwine, co-owner of Odyssey Pets in Dallas. “The wood warms up that section and sets it apart. For the holidays, when seasonal scents come in, sometimes we create a display at the front desk with pumpkin spice, sugar cookie, and cinnamon apple shampoos and colognes.”
At Health Mutt in Tampa, Fla., using products in the self-washing station to test them out helps with sales, and keeping those products near the stations is another way for folks to conveniently pick something up, said owner Kendra Conze.