By Agnes Ho
What could 50 years of experience bring to the table? Experience and knowledge that sets one apart from the other. The Wong family, who has been in the pet business for five decades, sets a role model for the Chinese pet industry. They manage a manufacturing business named Smart Way Pet Supplies Factory and a retail chain named Guo Feng Pet Chain in China.
With eight locations in Guangzhou, China, Guo Feng thrives to be the one-stop shop for pet care solutions for the local community, offering pet supplies and care products, clinic, grooming, training, boarding, breeding, photo studio, funeral and overseas pet transportation services.
“Our next goal is to open a large training center in Pan Yu (a suburb of Guangzhou),” says Dominic Wong, international business director. “We want this to become a weekend recreational attraction for pets and their owners with facilities such as swimming pools and obstacles.”
Besides food, fashion collars and leashes are the most popular items in the stores.
“Most people in the city have toy breeds, and there’s some social pressure to dress up their dogs,” Wong says. “People run into each other when they walk their dogs in the neighborhood, so they want to make sure their dogs look good and healthy.”
And perhaps it is another indication that the Chinese love to pamper their pets, snacks and treats are also very popular in the stores.
Wong says that popularity is a key factor when it comes to stocking decisions. Some popular American-made products sold at their stores include shampoo from Cardinal Laboratories and pet care products from Four Paws. Their stores also carry products manufactured by their family-owned pet supplies factory, Smart Way. Incorporating customer feedback and the experience received from their retail business in product development, they are able to offer consumers quality and innovative products that meet their needs.
“We have been in the pet business for 50 years,” Wong says. “Even though the root of our business is in China, we have been reaching out to other countries and bringing good products and information back hom. This not only allows us to offer better varieties and services to pets and pet lovers, but also gives us access to information and ideas that other local stores do not have.”
Comparing themselves to pet stores overseas, Wong sees that they are limited by the number of dogs in the city. They could offer a lot more to the community if there were more pets around.
AT A GLANCE
Name of Business: Guo Feng Pet Chain
Location: Guangzhou, China
Contact: Dominic Wong, International Business Director
Years in Business: 12
Product and Services Offered: pet supplies and care products, pet clinic, grooming, training, boarding, breeding, photo studio, funeral and overseas pet transportation services.
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