July cover

Tough Decisions

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This is the Publisher’s Letter as published in the August issue of Pet Age.

Expansion is a tricky thing. It’s something I am a part of now with Pet Age and it’s something we hear from retailers.

We continuously want to write articles to help retailers with their day-to-day lives. While expansion isn’t something that happens to business owners every day, it’s something that crosses most people’s minds.

When should I expand? Where should I expand to? Should I even expand? These are the questions that float around the mind of someone who is contemplating the expansion of their current location or opening a second one. It’s a tough situation to be in, and not one I idolize. But it is one I can sympathize with.

When Pet Age magazine came to Journal Multimedia, we had to do a lot of startup work, just as retailers would with opening a second store. It’s long hours, it’s dedication, it’s overworking yourself but it’s being a part of something you believe in. It is not an easy task, at all, especially when you have no idea where to turn.

It also reminds me of my dear friends in South Miami who owned a children’s clothing store. At the time they were doing fantastic, then Hurricane Andrew hit the area and the people who were devastated by it received their insurance money and came to shop at my friend’s store. They had so much business they decided to triple the size of their store. The problem is, after the insurance money ran out and people didn’t need to shop there anymore, they had all this overhead and were not able to make enough.

From it, I learned to never expand just because sales happen to do well for a certain point in time. In publishing, it’s the same thing, we have to keep track and see where all of our income is coming from. If it’s a surge and has no staying power, then we know not to count on this money later on.

Our hope with this issue is to spread some light on the subject We hope that it makes it easier to first decide, if you should be expanding your business, but also how to expand your business if you choose to.

Even if you read the article and decide that business expansion or opening a second location isn’t the best choice, that’s OK.

Maybe if you just want to renovate your current location to give it a new look, that’s also covered. Even though you’re not getting bigger, it is a big event that will change your store.

We spoke with experts that have dealt with expanding businesses, not just in the pet industry, but also outside of the pet industry. We have alternative financial advice in case you don’t want to go to a bank.

We also spoke to several different pet retailers who have gone through this process or are about to, and also people that are in different stages of the process. They also talk about the importance of where to build. How it’s important to have complete market saturation of your current location before moving onto another one, also, where to plan your future place.

We truly hope this helps you out if you are planning on expanding, opening a second store, or if this article helps you realize that you are content with what you have now.

- Craig Rexford

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