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September 1, 2015

Summer is drawing to a close and autumn is coming. And in our industry the dog days are never over.

It’s time to get stores ready for the new season and begin looking ahead to the holidays. Yes, the most wonderful time of the year will be upon us before you know it. Now is the time to start planning your holiday displays, any special promotions you might want to offer and the holiday orders. You may even need to think about taking on temporary staff for the holiday rush. It might be too early to start the hiring process but it’s not too early to start thinking about what your staffing needs will be in the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.

Although it’s not part of the traditional holiday season, Halloween is the first of the holidays coming up. If you haven’t ordered some cute pet costumes, you should think about it. More and more people dress their pets up for the occasion. It’s just another part of the pet humanization trend that you’ve heard so much about. If your store gets visited by trick-or-treaters, you should put out a dish of dog and cat treat samples for kids to take too. They’ll get a kick out of being able to bring their pet home some treats.

It’s also back to school season, which on the surface doesn’t seem to have a lot of relevance to pet retailers. However, consider that when families are out shopping for school supplies, they may want to combine a run for dog food or an aquarium light into the same trip. It’s just one more reason to keep your store well stocked at all times.

In the northern areas of the country, pond owners will soon start shutting down their ponds for the winter. Are you ready with the right seasonal diets, de-icers and other needed supplies? Make sure that you or someone else on the staff has the knowhow to help out the newer pond keepers with any questions they’ll have about the winterizing process.

The fall and winter weather doesn’t just affect ponds. Dog owners will soon be shopping for new sweaters, raincoats and booties for their canine companions, so make sure you have them in stock. It’s a good time to make a window display of these products or move them to an endcap near the front of the store.

All in all, fall is a busier time for the pet industry than summer is. Make sure you are ready for it.

-Craig Rexford

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