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Slow Down

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The Publisher’s Letter as it appears in the November issue of Pet Age.

The times are changing and everything is faster.

We live in a world where email is expected to be answered in minutes, text messages in seconds and phone calls immediately. Society as a whole is moving at a faster pace every day.

It’s no different in our industry. Consumers want the fastest service possible, while expecting it to be the best experience possible and everything be correct.

Manufacturers or distributors come to retailers with promotional opportunities that are expected to be decided on right away. Members of the media expect manufacturers or distributors to quickly come up with quotes, photos, information at the drop of a dime.

It’s a nonstop cycle of work for all of us. While, it’s an unfair situation for everyone, unfortunately that’s the world we live in. And as many retailers know, it’s something we must adapt to. The best advice I can really give for this, is you have to roll with the punches.

It’s understandable that while working your extremely long day as a retailer, you have a lot to do already. You have to manage workers, help customers, stock shelves, keep inventory, any loss prevention and just general work. It’s understandable that when a manufacturer or distributor comes in, or calls, with a promotion while you’re in the middle of trying to run your store, you may want to push it off for a week or two, or you may want to ignore it.

There is no easy way to handle it but I want to really strongly suggest, that even though it may seem like a headache in the beginning dealing with manufacturers or distributors or the media, it is completely worth it.

We are in an industry where everyone always wants to help everyone. No one is really out there to get at anyone. If retailers don’t do well we suffer from it, the manufacturers or distributors suffer from it.

When we call you for an interview, we know we are taking time out of your extremely busy day and we will try to be as fast as we possibly can but I promise you we are doing it to help you. Manufacturers or distributors are going to stop by with promotions and while it may take time for them to explain it all to you, but I promise you they are doing it to help your business. They want you to sell more and make more money so they make more and you can both prosper from it.

Now, I know I have picked on retailers a little bit, but we are all guilty of it. There are times that manufacturers or distributors or retailers email or call our editors and they don’t have the time to really hear a story or a pitch, and they push it back or don’t call back right away. We are all guilty of it and no one group is to blame. But it’s something that we have to get better with.

I love this industry, and it has not only survived but thrived for this long, and the best part is, we can all do better and this industry can continue to grow. The next time someone comes to tell you about a promotion or a story idea, we know it’s going to take time out of your already crazy busy day, but I promise you they are doing it to help you, so hear them out.

- Craig Rexford

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