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8:19 AM   April 23, 2014
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Creating a Natural Set


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With the surge of all-natural, organic and holistic foods on the market, many pet specialty retailers have begun separating out their natural items into their own section. Creating such an area has its benefits and drawbacks. Retailers considering whether to partition their stores should keep these points in mind:

Benefits of Natural Sets

  • Easier for customers to find what they need: Customers looking for natural super-premium foods will appreciate having the products in one dedicated section. If a dog owner, for instance, is considering whether to rotate her pet’s diet, she’ll feel confident knowing that the foods in the special section will be similar in quality to the food she’s already feeding.
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  • Allow retailers to target marketing materials: Many people who purchase organic and holistic diets share concerns about their pets’ and the planet’s health and well being. By dedicating an area of the store to special diets, retailers can target market environmentally friendly products. For example, retailers can display a stack of beds made from hemp and recycled soda bottles among the foods.
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  • Draws interest to the segment: By sequestering organic and holistic dog foods, retailers highlight the fact that they’re different from other commercial varieties. This can allow salespeople to strike up a conversation with customers perusing the section and tell them the health benefits of feeding a nutrient-packed diet.

Drawbacks of Natural Sets

  • Could confuse customers: If the organic and natural foods are pulled into an aisle different from the conventional dog foods, customers may get confused. A dog owner, for instance, may be looking for her dog’s favorite commercial brand, but when she heads down the organic food aisle, it’s no longer there. She’ll see the pricier organic and holistic brands and may balk at the cost.
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  • Ostracize other brands’ customers: Though most dog foods are formulated to be complete and balanced meals for dogs, a special section may imply that organic and holistic is superior to commercial brands. Customers may feel bad if they purchase a non-organic brand, which could send them shopping for another store.
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  • May take up prime real estate: Retailers value each square foot of space in their stores, and dedicating a section of the store or specific shelves takes up some prime real estate. Retailers considering whether to create a special area should look at their customer base and decide if it’s a wise move.

Creating a natural section in has its pros and cons, but if retailers have the space and interest among their customer base, they can take the opportunity to dedicate an area to organic and holistic diets, educate their customers about their health benefits and help pet owners extend the lives of their dogs and cats. <HOME>


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