In the blink of an eye, the year has come and gone. As the brisk autumnal chill of November gives way to what we hope is a winter wonderland, there’s a buzz in the air. Not only does December engage all of our senses in the high spirit of the holidays, but Pet Age is winding down the year with our Readers’ Choice Awards and Vanguard Series.
It feels like it was just yesterday when we published the inaugural Readers’ Choice Awards, a wildly popular honor that is determined by Pet Age readers across the country. This is a favorite of ours as it puts the power into your hands, and the results shed light on what new products have been most popular in 2018. We encourage you to examine the results and see how they compare with the new products that are performing well with your customers.
Vanguard Series is a new entry to the Pet Age lineup, and it’s one that we’re excited to launch in this issue. Publications tend to emphasize the accomplishments at the top of a company, and rightfully so. However, Vanguard Series was created to recognize those who are in the trenches. They may be executives or subordinates who have recently had a major influence on policymaking or been the primary drivers of breakthroughs or innovations. The honorees we profile in this issue are a varied bunch, but they’ve all made an impact that deserves acknowledgement.
We also reflect on the year with profiles of Joe Wallington, president of Jones Naturals; and Tim Blurton, CEO of Hyper Pet. Wallington and Blurton have enabled their companies to strengthen their positions in the industry and are on course for a bright future.
As with every issue, we bring you helpful tips and advice from a variety of experts. One such column comes from Amy Castro, who lists four techniques to maintain your loyal customers while also bringing former shoppers back to your store. Meanwhile, if your customers have aging pets, Steven Appelbaum’s piece on training older dogs and cats is a must-read column.
Then again, we’re confident you’re going to want to check out everything in this issue, from the Pet of the Month (a Labrador retriever) to the Focus On: Tempting Treats. So don’t let me stop you—check it out! Have a wonderful December, happy holidays, and we hope you enjoy the festivities.
Glenn A. Polyn