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Retailers Reveal What Service They Most Want to Offer

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When it comes to offering in-store services, grooming is something many store owners want to provide to their customers, but it’s also one of the services that has dropped significantly in the past few years.

According to the Pet Age Retail Report, stores offering grooming services have dropped about 20 percent in the past 3 years. At the same time, those surveyed said grooming services was one of the top services they want to offer in the next year.

Retailers, as well as experts, say while a first look at the numbers may be confusing, it’s definitely not bad news, and attributes it to several factors, including new trends that are emerging in that area, such as mobile grooming, as well as the level of skill it takes to perform the trade.

Chris Watts, owner of The Petropolitan in Dallas, said it’s hard to find groomers who meet his store’s standards, because sometimes someone will be great at using a blade, but not so good with scissors.

Even when a store does find a groomer that’s a good fit, many times they aren’t prepared for all the “extras” that offering the service can bring, including contractual labor issues, liability and both the start up, and ongoing costs, like shampoo, he said.

“You are adding a whole additional piece to the management [of the store],” Watts said. “It’s time consuming. For example, if you’re not a groomer you need to train you and your staff about it so they are knowledgeable to the customer.”

Ginny Anziani, the owner of Doggie U K9 Academy in Bayshore, Long Island, has been offering grooming services since she opened her business 7 years ago.

She explained that at first it was convient because people didn’t have to run to two different places – a class and a grooming salon. As the years went on she noticed the industry becoming more personalized.

Some customers want to deal with a groomer who just does puppy cuts, or someone who specializes in poodles, for example. Since it wouldn’t be cost effective to offer all of those in one place, stores need to find a niche.

In Anziani’s case, her business provides the personalized attention dog owners are looking for. Similar to a hair salon, they only make appointments for one dog at a time.

“Sometimes a dog can be in a grooming shop for five or six hours just hanging out in a crate,” she said. “You bring your dog in, then two hours later when your dog is done, the person gets a call to come and pick up the dog.”

2 Responses to “Retailers Reveal What Service They Most Want to Offer”

  1. Nancy Klessig

    Jan 02. 2013

    I find this to be untrue in my area. (BrownDeer, WI) I have many customers that like to leave their pets by me for 5-6 hours. I have an open concept as long as the dogs get along. Owners are glad their dogs get some playtime before and after they are groomed. I am not a breed specific groomer either and have never had someone not come by me if I do not have alot of experience with the breed they own.

    Nancy @ Barley’s House of fine whines & lickers

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rachel Peterson

    Jan 06. 2013

    What everyone is missing here is that with the drop in the economy has come with a corresponding a drop in Bath and Brush services. Yes the Maltese may need a hair cut and he will get one, but the lab with a bath and brush may be just as easily done at home. Especially when salons are using furminating services as add on’s etc. Financially its an incentive when salons include these services, but there does come a point when for many family’s without employment or sufficient funds, must make a choice between professional services and food for the family. That choice will always result inf food for the family wining. I know in 2005 bath and brush clientele equated to at least 50% of services, now it is probably 30%.

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