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Pet Retailing - The Unique Retail Experience
by: John Stanley
The pet retailer is becoming the retail destination. It used to be that garden centres considered putting a pet shop adjacent to a garden centre as an extra means of attraction. I recently worked with a company in South Africa where the draw card is the pets; the added attraction is the garden centre.

So what makes the pet retail sector so unique? Well, in generational marketing terms, it’s one of the few retail sectors that appeals to each generation. Spoodles (0 – 4 yrs old), Juveniles (the Pester Power group, 5 – 14 yrs old), Generation Y (15 – 24 years old), Generation X (25 – 34 years old) , The Jones’ Generation (35 – 44 years old) , Baby Boomers (45 – 59 years old) and Greying Tigers (60 years and older) are all fascinated by pets.

That causes a retail challenge as the pet retailer has to design their store in easily managed categories but also to appeal to each generation.

This is unique in retailing, but get it right and you have a formula for success.

Most retailers only have to concentrate on one or two generations and put the picture together, but pet buyers and carers need special treatment and each group needs different requirements. That’s the challenge of success in this retail sector.

What services do you include within the retail sector, i.e. veterinary services, grooming services and care talks. Plus, what services do you provide to get customers to linger longer, i.e. café, restaurant, pet shows etc.

This is a retail sector that is growing and therefore innovation is inevitable.

About the Author

John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 20 years experience in 15 countries. John works with pet retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. Visit or email us on


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