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Pet Shops

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by kiara, Aug 6, 2009.


  1. kiara

    kiara PetForums VIP

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    Hi all,

    A family member of mine is looking into buying a shop and opening a pet shop. i said i would help her with the research into it.
    I was wondering what you all look for in a pet shop as pet owners and customers?

    Any other advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    xx
     
  2. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Good quality food ,most pet shops around here dont stock it, i feed burns ang get it from a friend of mine otherwise i would have to travel or order on the net
     
  3. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Yeah, good quality food is important. My local pet shop will order anything in they don't stock.

    I also look for interesting and different collars and leads... One pet shop near me only stocks 'usual' ones, plain leather and nylon ones, but the other sells fancy ones, patterened ones etc.

    I look for friendly helpful well presented staff. I would rather travel out of my way to a pet shop where you can stand and have a wee friendly chat with the owner than shop in one where you just go in, buy and leave with a few words.

    And I also look for good deals... When buying a larger one of purchase such as a new bed, or a replacement dish, I like there to be a bit of variety so I can choose... Again, one of the pet shops near me sells only plastic dishes, and one type of bed. The other has an assortment of ceramic plastic and metal dishes, and different beds which again, they will order you in a different pattern or size if need be :)

    x
     
  4. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    Good advice and knowledgeable staff! That is the most important thing to me, the people running the shop MUST know their stuff, otherwise it would be pointless opening the shop :)
     
  5. peppapug

    peppapug PetForums Senior

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    I used to own and run a pet shop in Weybridge in Surrey.

    Now independant pet shops are competing with superstores and supermarkets it is very difficult to make money.
    The biggest thing to focus on is service. Spend time with customers, get to know their pets, what they have regularly. Deliver. local pet shops should deliver sacks of food and litters from a phone call.
    Buy in unique ranges. Go to shows, see new ranges and be different. Remember ranges in superstores are chose a year in advance so things come out in between and smaller shops can stock them first.
    Make money on accessories and go for RRP on foods, its the only way to get people to come to you instead of P @ H.

    Also think of other things you can tag on. We had a grooming parlour out the back. It got business from the shops customers and i, the groomer always sold and advised on brushes, shampoos and treats for after!

    I loved teh pet shop and wished i had never sold it. :rolleyes:
     
  6. fluffybunny2001

    fluffybunny2001 PetForums VIP

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    knowledgeable staff is a major must,the local pampurred pets from me has an idiot of a manager,i had to keep running after customers last summer when he was advising them to use a flea collar AND frontline together.
     
  7. Bex190

    Bex190 PetForums VIP

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    Staff that are friendly towards you and your pet and will let you try things out in the shop.
    Whenever I get a harness or collar I go to my local shop where the staff make a big fuss of my dog (even when I had one that grumbled constantly) and feed them treats whilst getting out all the different possibilities for them to try on. I could probably get the end product cheaper online but would hate to miss out on the chance to test it first.
     
  8. paddyjulie

    paddyjulie PetForums VIP

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    A Large chest freezer i think is a good idea,so that she could have a good variety of frozen dog meat

    juliex
     
  9. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

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    slightly off a dog/furry animal side

    Frozen foods for snakes would be fab, hardly any pet shops do them and once that do charge an arm and a leg which is why i think so many people turn to breeding feeder mice rats (not something im overly keen on and wouldnt ever do myself)
     
  10. Bex190

    Bex190 PetForums VIP

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    Ooh good point Daynna. A decent supply of livefoods- crickets, locusts, mealworms etc in all sizes and gutload to go with them would also be very good. I'm yet to find a shop where I can get everything for my pup and my geckos in one go.
     
  11. Freyja

    Freyja PetForums VIP

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    Our local pet shop offers a good friendly service. If they don't have what you want they will order it in and you will have it within a week if they can get it from their supplier. They order my dog food in specially for me. They order 2 bags of food at a time I pay for 2 collect 1 and then pick up the other when I need it. They always make sure if the are going to be closed or not get deliveries at christmas and easter they always order me extra food without me asking and always make sure I have food in the shop ready to pick up. If I forget my cheque book I can have my food and pay next time they know were I live anyway. They know my car and if they see me pulling round the corner my food is by the door waiting for me.


    Thats what I want in a pet shop. A shop I can rely on to make sure I have what I need with reasonable prices.
     
  12. Sari

    Sari PetForums Member

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    Friendly customer service. Nothing brings me back to a shop more than a ready smile and helpfulness!
     
  13. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    bloomin heck where do you live, I might move there just so I can be near such a good pet shop :laugh:
     
  14. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

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    I agree with what everyone has put so far, the main thing an independent small pet shop needs to be is flexible and helpful.

    I like to try the collars, leads etc on my lot before I buy and having the staff fuss over them is brilliant.

    Getting all items for all my pets in one store is also something I struggle with, so having frozen foods (mice, rats, chicks etc), live foods (crickets, meal worm etc) and good value dog food would be a winner for me :)

    And friendly, helpful staff. In one shop I go to if they don't know something they will say then go to the counter where they have a pc and look it up while you are there with them.
     
  15. Kinski

    Kinski PetForums VIP

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    I'm with the others in that knowledgeable staff is a must, they need to sell decent food. I prefer not to shop somewhere that sells animals ( pets ), I would love somewhere that sells different toys, every pet shop I go into sells the same old bog standard toys, even if she only had one on display but could order something I wanted in would be fine. I'm afraid for me while I agree that selling live food would be a godsend I would prefer not to see it so if that was in a small room somewhere else would be brilliant, but then that could just be me. I would also like to be able to move around the shop without banging into stuff all the time, we have a small pet shop local to me and it's so full of stuff it's impossible to walk around easily.

    Terri
     
  16. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

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    I think keeping the live and frozen foods in the back would be a good idea, like you said alot of people are bit squeamish about things like that (I could never feed my snake live rats but tarantula and geckos have live crickets) but also pets need to eat so it would be best of both worlds :D

    Also being able to get round it is a good point, it's a nightmare if things are all cramped in, especially if you have got your dog or kids with you.
     
  17. Kinski

    Kinski PetForums VIP

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    Your right, I've no problem with them eating live food (my mum used to have a snake when I was a child), I'm just one of these squeamish people. My daughter had stick insects when she was young and I couldn't go near them, mind you I couldn't tell them apart from the sticks and small branches that were in beside them :p.

    Terri
     
  18. sequeena

    sequeena PetForums VIP

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    I love the pet shop I go to. It's a small family run business and they do everything.

    Friendly well presented staff, obviously must be an animal friendly shop (I'm forever taking my two into our pet shop), good knowledge, good stock and choice of food.

    Mine also do beds, collars, various treats, etc which are all fun to look at and the dogs always get a fuss and a treat :D
     
  19. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

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    an shop cant be all things to all people. it would then be a superstore.

    a smallish local petshop has to cater to it's clientbase.

    the market needs researching and a definite business model put into place.

    no small shop can carry all the stock needed to satisfy everybody. if a shop is to stay in business it has to supply what people want to buy.
    be it bakers, pedigree or arden grange or orijen.

    it would be great if we could all find a shop that stocks exactly what we want personally but it has to survive.

    the reason so many shops stock what they do is it sells. simple as that.

    ideally it would be wonderful but if the op is to have success especially in this climate they need to carry stuff that puts money in the till as often as possible.

    the higher end stuff that experienced people know about is all available online anyway, so you have to give that little bit more to ensure you get the sale and not www.foodisus.

    the live food is a good idea IF the demographics support it.

    the grooming also is a decent add on

    a better idea to manage the cash flow would be to order in the good stuff as opposed to stocking in bulk. deliver it with a smile.

    form a relationship with owners and suppliers learn all you can about your products and their uses.
    product knowledge is vital, the best will in the world wont sell without the knowledge.

    show how to fit collars properly what different collars are for FOR EXAMPLE.

    be genned up on the different breeds / animals and their needs

    form a good relationship with other people than be of benefit to your business.

    visit training clubs and breed clubs, offer members something extra other people dont get or give.

    do leaflet drops

    do mail order and local deliveries

    give good solid advice - goodwill is priceless and cant be bought.

    if you only sell one product but know it well and your market you'll sell loads.

    sell too many with too little knowledge you'll struggle.

    but the main thing is to KNOW YOUR CLIENT BASE AND PRODUCTS. GIVE A BETTER SERVICE THAN THOSE NEXT DOOR.

    good luck in the venture , but research research research.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

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    dam, my post sounds like a lecture dont it, wasnt meant to be lol.

    another thing i just thought of.

    if you could team up with people who do handmade stuff for pets, collars, leads, beds etc and personalised gear you could sell on a commission basis. another little add on requiring just a few samples as stock


    decent tags. these i find hard to get really nice durable tags that look good and dont fade as the writing wears.

    i dont like the plastic ones with contrasting lettering, look like a keyring lol.

    another idea possibly is get a chip scanner. offer a service to regularly check peoples chips for operation and that it hasnt moved.

    charge for it or offer it free if they spend x amount of pounds.

    offer to obtain the good wormers and flea stuff online for people, cheaper than the vets just be sure to use their prescription. not everyone is online and has access to the cheaper meds.

    there are also a lot of people make garden stuff for birds at home, my bro did before he died and a lot of shops bought in his bird tables and kennels and hutches. or even just took orders on commission.
     
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