Pet Product News (PPN) honored outstanding pet specialty retailers, groomers and service providers with its annual Retailer of the Year Awards during a ceremony on Aug. 17 that was held at the SuperZoo trade show in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
PPN usually recognizes its Retailer of the Year Award winners each year at SuperZoo but was unable to honor the winners of its 2020-2021 Awards in-person last year. As such, PPN’s editors honored the 2021-2022 winners along with the 2020-2021 winners during the ceremony.
PPN received dozens of applications from businesses all across the U.S.—retail stores and service providers that showed pride in their operations and wanted to share with PPN the many innovative, clever and productive ways they support and serve their clients and their pets. Also, for the first time, PPN invited manufacturers and distributors to nominate their top choice for pet business award winners.
PPN’s editors selected one standout store as its Retailer of the Year, Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va. The pet supply store won the 2019-2020 Marketing Award and managed to top itself this year, snagging the top honor for PPN’s 2021-2022 awards.
Pet Food Express was honored with PPN’s first-ever Independent Trailblazer Award. The retail chain, which has 64 locations in California, received nominations from various pet product manufacturers and distributors, many of which praised Pet Food Express for its customer service, staff knowledge, community involvement, and merchandising and marketing strategies.
An additional 10 stores join Animal Connection and Pet Food Express as special honorees in this year’s Retailer of the Year Awards. These stores have earned awards for their business achievements in a variety of categories.
In the coming months, PPN will feature profiles of the winners in each issue of the magazine. The 2021-2022 winners are:
Retailer of the Year
Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va.
Pet Food Express, which has 64 locations in California
Wag Heaven, which has two stores in Texas
Full-line Pet Store
Preuss Pets in Lansing, Mich.
Emma Marie’s Grooming & Daycare, which has two stores in Massachusetts
Growth and Expansion
Canadian Pet Connection in Meadford, Ontario, Canada
Aquarium Co-Op in Everett, Wash.
Pet Health and Nutrition Advocate
NorthPoint Pets & Co. in Cheshire, Conn.
Customer Service and Education
The Wild Pet Stores, which has two stores in South Carolina
Rumford Pet Center, which has eight locations in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts
Dog Krazy, which has seven stores in Virginia
Reber Ranch, which has two stores in Washington
PPN’S 2020-2021 Award Winners
PPN selected Odyssey Pets in Dallas as its 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year. The store is no stranger to PPN or the industry. In previous years, it has snagged PPN Retailer of the Year Awards in the categories of Tough Market Competitor, Outstanding Retail Development and Outstanding Business Management. However, in 2020, the 15-year-old, single-location retailer came into its own, having grown into a pillar of its urban center that shines bright even among some heavy-hitting pet specialty brick-and-mortar competition.
An additional six stores joined Odyssey Pets as special honorees in the 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year Awards. The winners are:
Retailer of the Year
Odyssey Pets in Dallas
Lifestyle & Boutique
Southern Barker, which has three stores in Kentucky
Wag Central in Stratford, Conn.
Pet Pros, which has 18 stores in Washington
Petagogy, which has three stores in Pittsburgh
Paws and Pamper in Missoula, Mont.
Pet & Feed Store
Cohutta Pet & Feed in Blue Ridge, Ga.