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5:28 AM   August 23, 2014
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Yalong

By Agnes Ho

Being the owner to a husky and a professional pet groomer, Mr. Chu knows confidently what it takes to provide the best care to pets.

“The pet industry is growing in China but is far from matured. For example, in Beijing, most pet shops focus on selling products rather than providing pet care services,” Chu says. “Perhaps, attributed to lack of information and industry standards, some store owners are not very knowledgeable about pets and don’t know what’s good for them.”

With his expertise in grooming and about one year’s time in preparation, Chu launched Yalong Pet Club in April. The business is in a two-story building with a comfortable, spacious, neat environment for pet grooming and other care services at mid-range prices.

“Our core business is grooming at this point. We do sell some pet supplies, including food from Royal Canin, Purina and Pro-Pac, but it’s not our main focus,” Chu says. “Our main focus is service—quality services to pets.”

Besides his plan to launch another store in Beijing next year, Chu is currently working on adding boarding services and pet-friendly playgrounds to his business. He sees growing demand in both areas.

“A while ago, the chow chow was very popular,” Chu says. “Then, the husky was getting a lot of attention, followed by the golden retriever. Now it appears that toy breeds are most talked-about. But people with all kinds of breeds come to my store.”

Chu says he has been promoting his business through website link exchange; advertisements in Chinese pet consumer magazines, such as PetWorld; and most importantly, word-of-mouth by his satisfied customers. In addition, he plans to attend pet trade shows including the upcoming China International Pet Show (CIPS) in Beijing in November.

Undoubtedly, economic growth contributes to increasing pet ownership in China. Chu thinks pet owners do not always spend their money wisely.

“They are willing to spend money, but their intension is always not for the pet’s goods,” he says. “Like, we get some grooming requests that are for the owner’s pleasure rather than for the dog’s comfort.”

Chu believes the situation will improve as more information and resources are introduced to China. It is frustrating for him, and perhaps many other pet shop owners that currently many quality pet products made outside of China have no distribution in China. He would love to be contacted by foreign manufacturer for new product updates.

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AT A GLANCE

Name of Business: Yalong Pet Club, www.yalong2008.com

Location: Beijing, Chaoyang District

Owner: Mr. Chu

Years in Business: store launched in April 2008

Product and Services Offered: grooming services including nail trimming, ear cleaning, shampoo and blow dry, haircut and brushing for both cats and dogs.  Products include food, treats, shampoo and conditioner, bed and bedding, collars and leashes.


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