Should groomers offer their customers tools for home use?
By Sandi Cain
Groomers often face a conundrum in deciding to offer home grooming tools to clients. The concern many groomers express has to do with losing business to the very tools they sell to pet owners. Several groomers have reported that clients are stretching out the lengths of time they wait to have their pets groomed, and there is a perception in the profession that more people will wait to visit the groomer’s shop if they have the tools to perform some grooming at home.
Efficiency goes hand in hand with having the proper tool, but being able to perform the job of grooming pets isn’t always the only way to use tools for profit. Groomers are being forced to cope with various headwinds in the marketplace, and though the profession has held up well in the current economy, groomers reported customers frequently put off grooming for a longer amount of time. Also, some customers want to perform grooming duties themselves.
|Photo courtesy of Furminator.|
In Canada, Hugh Rice, business development and marketing manager at Ontario-based Leis Pet Distributing, said he’s seen a trend toward consumers trying to learn how to groom their own pets.
“You’d think groomers would want to nurture that instead of fighting it,” he said.
Highlighting the trend, Diana Delossantos, manager of Bark Harbor in Bar Harbor, Maine, said she does just that. Delossantos reported that the groom shop has seen a trend among customers asking for more basic cuts to extend the time between grooming sessions, so she provides them with information that can help them do in-between grooming sessions properly, such as teaching them how to trim hair between the toes in the winter. The shop also carries the Furminator and less expensive Shed Magic by Safari that customers want for home use.
“Customers like to do grooming themselves,” she added.
Catering to the market for consumer grooming tools may make sense for some groomers. Equipment purchases may be expensive, and making profits selling some tools to customers may not always thwart groomers’ business models.<HOME>
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