Posted: Oct. 4, 2011, 4:05 p.m., EDT
Kits for kids, themed setups and naturalistic displays attract customers’ attention.
By Maddy Heleine
Demand for aquarium decorations never goes out of style--though consumer tastes do change--and retailers can take advantage of the wide variety of unique and beautiful aquatic stock items to boost sales and attract customers. Theme-based kits for children, natural looking decorations, innovative lighting systems, new tank designs, and aquarium furniture can all provide aesthetic appeal for aquariums and the rooms in which they reside.
Children’s kits often feature cartoon or fantasy themes, and are increasingly incorporating unique or novel equipment into designs.
“These new kits come with adjustable LED lighting, and many have a three-way switch that offers a moonlight setting,” said Tim Plafcan, senior product manager at United Pet Group in Blacksburg, Va.
|Demand for realistic plant decorations is growing.|
“We also provide ‘big trends for small kids’ with Disney theme aquarium backgrounds and beta kits,” Plafcan added.
The company’s Waterfall Globe Aquarium includes a waterfall for decoration and an LED lighting system.
For young hobbyists who already have setups but want to add stylistic elements, there are literally tons of options
“A lot of kids already have tanks and are looking for stylish items to decorate it,” said Linda Cuke, owner of Mike’s Aquarium and Pet Shop in Englewood, Fla. “SpongeBob items are popular. I try to stock trendy cartoon and movie characters because I feel it is important to keep children excited and interested in the tanks that they have.”
Hobbyists who wish to accent aquariums with natural-looking decorations have a wide variety of new items to choose from.
“Aquaglobe USA has just introduced realistic silk plants that are mounted on rock resin bases,” said Tom Hashemain, president of the company headquartered in Campbell, Calif. “We also offer synthetic corals that will highlight any marine aquarium.”
Demand for realistic plant decorations is growing, retailers reported.
“I carry Aquaglobe silk plants because they provide a realistic environment,” Said John Rogness, shift manager at A World of Fish in Minneapolis. “I also like the resin base and the way these artificial plants hold up well over time.”
“We employ professional designers to develop detailed bark trees and smooth stumps [for display],” said Mark Lamon, vice president of Ocean Star International, headquartered in Snowville, Utah. “[These] keep water looking clean because they do not release tannins into the water [as real wood does].”
“Natural-looking wood pieces with moss are very popular in Europe right now, so we started introducing short plastic plants mixed with rock and wood that highlight that style into the USA market,” Lamon continued, adding that the decorations are made out of plastic resin.
Aquariums as Decor
Many customers are looking for interesting, alternative, and natural ways to decorate their aquarium systems with lighting, and to even turn the entire aquarium itself into a piece of art.
“I try to stock a variety of lights to suit customer needs,” said Dan Gilboa, owner of Age of Aquariums in Signal Hill, Calif. “I really like the Acan LED dimmable lighting fixtures because they are fully programmable and provide a very sleek and upscale design for home décor.”
Other lighting products have recently become available, including LEDs designed to offer accent lighting. Also moonlight options have been around for a while, but continue to be popular with customers.
Stocking unusual types of aquariums can also help retailers attract and meet the needs of a large variety of customers.
“We sell many aesthetically pleasing aquariums, [such as] JBJ nano cubes, because many hobbyists want aquariums that can double as beautiful pieces of home décor,” said Mark Roberts, a salesperson at Mark’s Tropical Fish and Pet Supplies in Studio City, Calif. “The industry is really shifting toward adding a home design element into the hobby.”<HOME>
Industry Professional Site: Comments from non-industry professionals will be removed.