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January 4, 2016

Along with a New Year comes a new Pet Age Retailer Report.

We’ve devoted a lot of space in this issue to the Report because there’s just so much useful and interesting information in it. There are a few specific things that I want to draw your attention to before you give the report a read.

One trend the report revealed is that fewer stores are selling live pets. The data from the past two retailer reports reveals a significant drop in respondents who carry livestock.
Having worked in pet retail and for a reptile wholesaler, I can see why owners and managers might turn away from live animals and rely on selling supplies. Live animals drive up overhead through their need for food, time employees spend caring for them and loss. They also take up a lot of space.

However, without the pets, there would be no market for supplies. As our columnist John Mack often says, the sale of an animal often results in future supply sales worth many times the revenue of the animal itself.

I also found it both interesting and perplexing that most retailers are rarely reaching out to their customers via email. Email marketing seems like low-hanging fruit that stores could exploit without too much effort. My guess is that most independent retailers do not have the staffing resources to collect customer email information and then reach out to those customers.

I hope you find the information in the Retailer Report as interesting as I have. If you see something surprising or even something that confirms your own experience, share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear how well the report matches what our readers are seeing in their stores.

This issue marks the return of our Focus On feature. This themed roundup of products has returned because of feedback I’ve gotten at shows. For our relaunch of the section, Pet Age is offering the seasonally appropriate theme of pet outdoor wear. I hope you enjoy the feature and find it useful. Next month, we will be featuring dental health products for all types of pets – or at least the ones that have teeth.
I’d also like to share a Pet Age staffing announcement with you. We’ve been joined by a new assistant editor, Alexandra Wepner. Ally is a recent Rutgers University grad (we’re up to two now) who will be handling copyediting, story writing and other tasks. We are thrilled to have Ally on board.

I hope all our readers enjoyed the holidays and have a healthy and prosperous 2016!

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