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Dogtopia Undergoes Extensive Brand Reinvention


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Dog daycare franchise Dogtopia announced it has implemented new initiatives as part of the company’s extensive rebranding.

Peter Thomas, chairman of Thomas Franchise Solutions, announced the purchase of Dogtopia in June 2015 and appointed new CEO and president Neil Gill, whose background includes more than 30 years in retail and franchising with such brands as Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Pizza Hut and Brinker International.

According to Dogtopia, key development in the company’s new strategy involves a new look and feel of the company’s branding and in-store experience, including a new logo, website and interior décor, which recently debuted at the new Dogtopia in Commerce, Mich. The updated store design will be implemented in all future locations.

“When I came into Dogtopia, I was confronted with the task of making an already great brand even better,” said Gill. “Not only was the existing operating system centered on the safety and overall wellbeing of dogs, but I quickly learned Dogtopia is comprised of an amazing set of franchisees who are extremely engaged and passionate. Their insight and knowledge helped to completely reshape the customer experience.” 

“Our goal is to create the most exciting day ever for dogs, while providing pet parents peace of mind that their dogs are in the hands of a trusted authority,” Gill added. “When we began creating the updated interior design, we mirrored the quality standards parents would expect for child care to ensure Dogtopia continues to be the best option for pet parents. We re-imagined the whole process from the perspective of both the pet parent and pet to create an ambiance unlike any other dog daycare.”

Since taking over the franchise, Dogtopia has executed several new initiatives, including employing an environmental biologist, implementing dog-safe cleaning products and programs, requiring a dedicated, CPR-trained health and safety officer to be on staff at all locations and creating an 11-step facility tour to foster complete transparency among pet parents.

Beyond design and operational changes, Gill has assembled a support team with several new hires, such as Alex Samios as vice president of franchise development, who has 25 years’ experience in franchising. The company also has formed a partnership with global commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield to support the brand’s aggressive real estate expansion plans, which will act to help the franchise achieve its strategic growth plan to open more than 400 locations by 2021. More than 40 stores were sold and were under development in Q1.

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