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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

April 3, 2012

Spring Forward to Warmer Weather

By Julie Jacobs

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The worse of winter is behind us—well, at least the bitter cold months. Now it’s time to put on our spring hats and started thinking of how to change our assortment offerings to warmer-weather gear. Bright, happy spring colors will add new life to your pet product assortments and create more excitement. You can even coordinate with the pastel shades of Easter. More whimsical patterns with flowers, nature, etc., will also add spark. Cleaning out the bulkier, heavier winter goods will also leave more room on the selling floor in a physical pet store, enabling you to do more extensive displays.

spring-influenced pet products

For e-stores, maybe it’s time to create a new homepage that is bright and cheery for the season. Even if you do not change your product assortment, a new face to the homepage may create a sense that everything is new. You can draw your old-time customers in who may find something they think is new, but actually they just never noticed it before.

The recent Global Pet Expo offered some fabulous opportunities for us to capitalize on. The obvious: new items for the marketplace. Or perhaps there are items that weren’t new to the pet world, but they’re things you’ve never offered it in your assortment. Either way, they’re new for you and can provide even more reasons for customers to visit your pet store.

Another tradeshow opportunity: promotional items: Year-round items that you can buy at a promotional price so you can turn a better margin. You could also use them as promotional items to get people to your store. For example, last year a well-known brand was offering a purse-like dog carrier on close-out for only $5. The normal retail was $50. I purchased a quantity and sold them for $15 to $25 each, depending on the time of year and promotion I was running. Either way, I had great profit margins and a fabulous item to draw customers to the store. What a great way to capitalize on both opportunities.

Global Pet Expo also provided a great way to look for seasonal promotional items, i.e., vendors that were clearing out winter product assortments. Pet products purchased at a discount can either be used for immediate store promotions or saved for next year to offer in season (especially  if they’re a classic that does not go out of style).

Of course, spring is ideal for promoting specials on current winter collections. Yes, there may be a few more cold, snowy days; but there may not be, too. Best to start running promotions to sell off the last of your warm and snuggly clothes, darker colors, heavy wool and polar fleece beds to make room for warm-weather gear. Creating reasons for customers to visit your pet store or website is key during the slower months and winter clearance specials are ideal.

If you have any questions or need resources, feel free to email me. And let’s all welcome spring!


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