Fall Emporium: Presents That Pamper
Scents, spa products, brushes, trimmers and more make ideal stocking stuffers for pets and their owners.
By Stacy N. Hackett
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care—including one for the family pet. With the holidays approaching, many pet owners begin looking for gift-appropriate items for their animal companions. Home grooming products are ideal for pet owners to tuck into stockings or for shoppers to purchase for their pet-owning relatives.
Luxury Pets in New York offers its Bubble & Squeak Spa Day Travel Pack, which includes an 8-ounce shampoo in one of five scents, a choice of two spritzes, a Paw Balm Stick, Hot Spot Relief and Microfiber Waffle Towel in a zip-top plastic bag.
“The Bubble & Squeak Spa Day Travel Pack is a unique and appropriate gift,” said Keith Sanna, president and CEO, noting that the pack is an ideal kit for owners who wash their dogs at home or at a self-service station.
Pupcake Perfume from The Dog Squad comes in six scents, and each glass bottle of perfume comes with a flower clip.
“The perfume is a great gift, as it comes with a hair bow, so it makes a great presentation,” said Laurie Patrick, president of the Newport Coast, Calif., company. “It’s two gifts in one.”
Carrie Brenner/ PPN LLC at Pet Supply
With holiday gift giving in mind, Best Shot Pet Products International in Lexington, Ky., is offering new scents of its body and facial washes for fall and winter months: Hot Toddy and Harvest Apple.
“Holiday scents are packaged in cheerful, traditional seasonal patterns that lure consumers with their holiday appeal,” said Dave Campanella, sales and marketing director. “People love the smells and comment that all they need is a bow!”
Scents of all kinds appeal to pet owners.
Land of Paws, which has three locations in Kansas and Missouri, stocks a range of pet colognes, including Puppytails’ Spritz & Sniff in Coconut Blossom and Rosemary & Aloe scents and Cloud Star’s Buddy Splash dog spritzer in Lavender & Mint, said Kristen Lewis, store manager.
“Cologne sprays are a perfect item to have on hand in between baths,” Lewis said. “They are always an item a customer will grab when shopping for a shampoo or conditioner.”
While luxury grooming products and pet perfumes make ideal holiday gifts, pet owners also might enjoy upscale brushes and combs, which tuck nicely into stockings.
Andis Co. in Sturtevant, Wis., offers a range of premium pet grooming tools, including pin brushes, slicker brushes, steel combs, nail clippers and de-matting rakes.
“The de-shedding tool is one of our most popular tools,” said Bruce Bock, marketing communications manager. “It glides comfortably over the pet, helping the owner reduce shedding by up to 90 percent. It definitely will reduce the amount of pet hair on the sofa.”
Bock also recommended small trimmers as gifts for pet owners.
“To attract the attention of potential gift buyers, consider creating an endcap display of the trimmers with other grooming products,” he said.
Jarden Consumer Solutions’ Oster products division—maker of the new Nourish line of dog shampoos—also recommends making use of endcap locations.
“We work with our retail partners on endcap displays and point-of-purchase signage, which is support that we provide all year long,” said Alejandro Peña, president of the Boca Raton, Fla., company.
Manufacturers offer other display items to help focus attention on their products.
Best Shot Pet Products provides sell cards and disposable counter displays, while The Dog Squad offers a stand-up board with photos of the products, the companies reported.
Luxury Pets also provides marketing materials to help encourage sales.
“We offer free product samples as well as information on the benefits of purchasing U.S.-certified organic products, and simple and effective methods of how to use them,” Sanna said. “Additionally, we sponsor dog wash days with many of our retailers who have washing stations.”
Picking Out Presents
No matter which grooming product a customer selects for a pet or a pet-owning friend, store employees should work with them to help them make the best gift choice.
“It is important to find ones that fit both the philosophies and the budget of the intended pet-parent recipient,” said Norm Shrout, co-owner of Long Leash on Life in Albuquerque, N.M. “It is recommended to provide a gift receipt along with the gift just in case they need to exchange it for a different selection.”
Andis Co.’s Bock agreed, noting that the gift should ultimately contribute to the pet’s quality of life.
“The message we want to get across is that grooming is just as integral to a pet’s health as veterinary care, daily walks and high-quality food,” he said. “Keeping your pet well groomed contributes to its well-being and overall health.”