Rebekah: Can you tell me a little about Busch Pet Products & Dog Wash? Where are you located? What pets do you cater towards?
Stacy: We began as an online-only store in late 2008, selling “bling.” My family showed dogs for over 40 years and staying in the pet industry was inevitable I guess! They are retired, but they still own a boarding kennel here in town.
I did tons of research and worked hard to bring in unique and unusual items that customers had not seen before. Before we had an actual brick and mortar location, I was selling dog food out of my car! I even delivered products to my pet sitting customers as well as my parents’ boarding kennel customers.
I had friends in St. Louis who were successful with their stores and they urged me to get a store open and bring in a self-service dog wash. I’m pretty sure when I first opened to the public, I was calling them up to four times a day asking questions! We are now a full-fledged holistic and all-natural pet supply store that specializes in dog and cat food and supplies.
Rebekah: Can you tell me a little about your dental section? Was there any specific influence for how it is laid out? Any inspiration?
Stacy: Our dental section has evolved over the years. We began carrying toothpaste and toothbrushes immediately but we knew most customers were looking for something different (i.e. more convenient). We added in sprays and gels and really worked to educate customers on how much easier they could use these. We felt our customers were getting tired of dental surgery as the norm so we expanded the section and added in water and food additives. We also brought in raw bones and dental chews free of fillers and additives.
Throughout the year, we keep our dental section in its usual spot on our supplement wall, but during February (Pet Dental Month), we bring items up to our display table at the front of the store.
Rebekah: Have you seen an increase in sales since you have configured the section any specific way?
Stacy: Sometimes it’s just as simple as rearranging the existing products on the shelf but we designed our supplement wall to flow naturally. Ear and eye wipes are above the dental section and poop bags are below it.
We also made sure we had plenty of signage to get people’s attention. Sales are pretty steady at this moment but this time of the year, I usually feel an urge to redo the wall and eliminate any items that are slow sellers. So far, our dental section has remained very consistent.
People are realizing the importance of dental health and how kibble alone won’t do the job.
Rebekah: Do the customers shop the dental display? Do you get any specific comments about it?
Stacy: Right now, the water additives, both powder and liquid, seem to be the hot items. We sell an organic water additive from Mad About Organics that is super-palatable and all essential oils, so customers don’t have to worry about what’s going into their pets’ bodies. The powder additive we carry is from Ark Naturals and with no flavor or smell to it, it’s appealing to customers whose pets are picky drinkers. The gels and sprays are still hot as well.
Rebekah: Do you have any specific promotions for dental month? Are you doing anything different in terms of customer service?
Stacy: For the entire month of February, we offer 10 percent off all dental products, including chews and raw bones. We want people to understand that a dental products doesn’t have to taste like mint to work.
We have a large Facebook following and promote Pet Dental Month and the sale on our Facebook page. Every couple of days, we post a fact about dog or cat dental care with a reminder about the sale. We also have a Sample Saturday event once each month. On Sample Saturday, we give out samples of a featured product to encourage sales. In February, it will be one of our dental products.
Rebekah: Anything else I should know about Busch and dental products?
Stacy: We have worked hard to choose items that don’t have any unnatural or potentially harmful ingredients in them. That’s the focus of our store, so we want to carry that over into everything we offer, from food to supplements, from toys to health products. We have never compromised the store’s integrity to bring in something just because it’s a big seller somewhere else. We are more concerned with making pet parents and their pets happy, healthy and safe.