Crash Your Store: The Dog Park
If you visit the website for The Dog Park in Alexandria, Va. you will see they describe themselves as, “an independently owned dog and cat boutique, specializing in unique items that are not found in big box stores.”
Well, it’s a pretty accurate description.
While on a mini-road trip last weekend, I stopped by the store and was majorly impressed. The first thing that caught my friend’s eye was a N.Y. Yankees collar, something my friend knew I would love. It was prominently displayed in their window, along with other teams on collars and various other pet items.
That was enough to draw me in.
The place was filled with people – and dogs, for that matter. The second thing that caught my eye was the large display of bakery-type dog treats. They came in three different sizes and had a great selection of summer-themed treats, including a ones shaped like a baseball hat with the logo of their local MLB team. Other options included colorful turtles, baseballs and ice cream cones.
The staff were very knowledgeable about what the treats were made of, and gave me suggestions on how to make them last until the holiday weekend, since I was buying them not only for my dog, but also for the dogs who would be staying with us.
Also right in front were treats and items to celebrate 4th of July. This was a very smart merchandising move, especially being that Old Town is literally a stone’s throw away from our nations capital.
The white, bright walls were filled with unique collars, leashes and toys for both dogs and cats, along with items one might need while traveling. Given the touristy area of D.C. and popularity of traveling with a pet, this was again a smart merchandising move.
Toward the back of the store was a very neat and organized food section that was well stocked with several brands of pet food, both wet and dry. While the range was not vast, they did have a nice selection.Their use of space, while still keeping things organized was well done.
Back to those dog collars we saw in the window. At first we couldn’t find them, but once we asked, the polite women pointed to behind the counter. They were definitely unique. The collars not only had baseball teams, names and logos, but they were made of real baseball leather.
Their selection of teams were also smart — the local ones, plus Red Sox and Yankees, two of the most popular teams in the league and on the East Coast.
Here are a few other photos from the store.