Barb Emmett, owner of Godfrey’s—Welcome to Dogdom in Mohnton, Pa., explains why staying abreast of the industry’s mergers and acquisitions is important to her of her independent brick-and-mortar pet store.
Pet Product News: Tell us about the special services your store offers.
Barb Emmett: Training includes: Puppy Start Right; One-on-One Basic Behaviors six-week class; Dog Sports—Nosework, Flyball, Rally and advanced group behaviors classes; and Therapy Dog Prep Classes. On a bi-monthly schedule, we offer 2.5-hour orientation sessions for people interested in becoming a therapy dog team with their dogs through Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services (KPETS). We also have two membership dog parks—a quarter-acre outdoor fenced park for dogs 30 pounds and under and a large dog park for dogs over 30 pounds. We offer one-on-one nutritional counseling. We are launching a series of monthly workshops/classes in 2019 in our Charlie’s Do More Naturally Series, which will include "make and take" workshops using essential oils to be used for a variety of canine issues, and other topics in alternative canine care, including the preparation of fresh food toppers. We have fun events throughout the year including our annual Egg and Bone Hunt at Easter, our Whine and Dine Thanksgiving Feast for Canines, and more. We have our own mascot who dresses differently for each holiday. We run professional photography sessions throughout the year.
PPN: What are the top-selling products in your store right now?
Emmett: Top sellers in treats are 12-in. and 6-in. bully sticks by Chasing Our Tails and K9 Natural’s lamb and beef tripe for high-value training treats; shampoos, sprays, and scent and stain destroyers from Skout’s Honor, toys by West Paw, and beds by Bowsers.
PPN: What are your favorite products right now?
Emmett: Handmade, one-of-a-kind sweaters with gorgeous embellishments that are upcycled from human sweaters and made by local artisans; anything made by Answers Pet Food; and Super Snouts’ soft hemp treats.
PPN: What industry trends have you been keeping your eye on most closely?
Emmett: Buyouts of small private companies making great products in a great way by larger companies not always known for doing the right thing, thus reducing the ability of small independents to continue to offer high-quality items that remain unique and valuable to the consumer. Also, what the big pet food industry manufacturers are developing and how they are positioning it.
PPN: What business challenge are you currently in the process of tackling?
Emmett: Maintaining margins and meeting inventory-turn goals for each product category.
PPN: What business goal are you hoping to achieve this year?
Emmett: Maintaining double-digit growth.
PPN: What is your best tip for connecting with customers?
Emmett: Be authentic, remember conversations with them, keep notes in their customer file on your POS system, try to help them solve their problems, and always respond to their needs in an honest, timely manner.
Get an inside look at Godfrey’s—Welcome to Dogdom in our gallery below.