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Hello, Summer

Michelle Maskaly//May 1, 2014//

Hello, Summer

Michelle Maskaly //May 1, 2014//

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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, which means many of your customers are making their summer vacation plans, if they haven’t already.

If you are a retailer, it is the perfect time to boost up your travel section, or create one if you don’t have an area dedicated to these products. The items should have just enough variety to give your customers a good selection to choose from, whether they are taking their pet on a plane, or a road trip.

For example, carry the basics like harnesses, first-aid kits, travel bowls and poop bags.

Then, expand into airline-approved carriers, car safety restraints and stylish bags that owners can use to put their pet’s items in.

Depending on your location, consider carrying items like life vests, wearable dog backpacks, all-terrain boots and other outdoor items. If you are in a tourist area, consider selling shirts, leashes or collars with the destination’s name on them.

You might also want to either group together a few of your favorite cleaning products, travel size if possible, and sell them like you would a first-aid kit, reminding customers they may need these products during their trip to clean up any possible messes.

In addition, make sure any advertising in the next few months promote, or at least mention, this travel section, or that you are carrying travel products.

Another way to push travel products in your store is to simply talk to your customers.

Ask them what their summer plans are. If they mention they are going on a trip, ask if they are taking their pet with them. If they say yes, suggest solutions to help make their trip easier.

This month, our cover story talks focuses mostly on the aquatics industry. In case you haven’t noticed, which I hope you have, we are trying to expand our coverage of aquatics and reptiles.

As part of that effort, last year I attended various shows and events to get a better understanding of the industry.

It was definitely a fascinating experience and we hope to continue attending more of these shows this year. In the meantime, we have expanded our coverage to separate aquarium and pond, and have added several more stories to our reptile section when possible.

During my travels, one of the issues I have heard a lot about is the topic of breeding and importing fish and reptiles, and the regulations surrounding them.

As a retail business owner, it can be a confusing topic, which is why we talked to experts in the field about the differences and the history behind it all.

While we just scratched the surface on this very complex topic, we hope it will help you, the retailer, who may not be an aquatics expert — but either sell them or want to sell them in your store — get a better grip on what is happening out there.