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Q: What do you look for in a good pet store??

March 17, 2008 | By Jennifer K. | 10 answers | Expired: 1848 days ago

What do you look for in a good pet store??

Hi~
My husband & I are working on opening up a pet store in Anderson, Ca. I was wondering what are your thoughts, ideas or suggetions on what an idea pet store is to you? We will not be selling puppies or kittens. We will be working with a rescue group called " Forever Pets" We hope that they will adopt out pets with us at least 2 times a month. Also how would you design it inside and out?? Any ideas or suggestions would be wonderful! Thank you so much!! And
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
Jennifer

Readers' Answers (10)
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Katie M.
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Aug 02, 2009

I look for friendly customer service. People that really care about animals working there. I also look for the prices to be reasonable. I like that you will be working to help adopt out instead of selling animals. Good luck!

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Scoopsquad
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Jul 31, 2009

CUSTOMER SERVICE , CUSTOMER SERVICE , CUSTOMER SERVICE , NEED I SAY MORE.. Very important over looked thing in business today.. good luck with your store

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Teri
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Mar 24, 2008

Knowledge is the key to everything. Employees should be able to provide correct information about caring for animals.

A lot of people don't purchase books in pet stores, I know I don't. I use them as reference guides. Maybe have a little reference section with select quality books.

Quality products! If it's a bad product (crappy food) don't sell it. Treats are treats, not meals!

Make it colorful. A mural would be great. A feeling like you're in the park would be fun. Or paws all over the walls.
Think "Bark Place"

Allow a bulletin board for posting lost pets, offers, etc. I would also be please if I could register for an email database. Limit it to events and Amber Alerts for pets.

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Amanda4max
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Mar 20, 2008

All the suggestions below are great. I would add that you should be willing to carry items your customers really want. Make the offer that if you don't have it, ask you to get it. It would be great if you had a people and dog cafe where owners could get a drink and their dogs could hang out with them. Probably the most important thing to look at is your local clientele and give them what they want.

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morgan t.
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Mar 19, 2008

make sure the store is clean, esp if pets are allowed in. You do not want animals catching what another might have. also, have bags and wipes incase of accidents.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Mar 18, 2008

selling things that are healthy for the particular pets you will have is a plus. i love places that are concerned about my pet as much as i am. keeping a clean place is up there at the top too. above all, make sure to show you think of the pets as highly as the people who want them and do references before allowing an animal to bought if you are going to sell them. the customer is not always right no matter what people may say. good luck

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Cindy M.
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Mar 18, 2008

What i like to see in a pet store is knowledgable, caring staff not someone that is there just for the pay. Post pics of animals up for adoption. Allow pets in your store. Maybe a senior social hour. Lots of space in the isles. If your selling live animals, a pamplet outlining care and up keep of the pet. A web site.

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Theranddav
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Mar 18, 2008

Another thing that seems to bring in return customers is a store masscot. Since you are going to be doing rescues have a cat or small dog "working" in the store with you. With each new rescue is a new face for people to love on while they shop. Catchy names are easier for people to remember too. Maybe a bullitin board with a small description and photo of other pets available at the humane society you support. The biggest thing that will generate more customers is price. (you probably already know that! lol) Outside if you can design you store name on a big bone it will be easier to see from the road and bring attention to the fact there is a pet store there. Sometimes reading the names of shops is hard to do while driving. The big bone is an attention getter. If you plan to do donations to the humane society and other animal rescue groups put a flyer in the bag at the end of a sale to show people what all your store does. Maybe include goals of the shelters and ways people can help out on their own. Offer discounts to people that have a newly adopted pet from a shelter, senior citizens and small children. My 9yr. old daughter loves it when she purchases something for her dog and gets a discount! Have contests (coloring or drawing). Let customers vote on the pictures and winners get a goldfish or a day to "work" at the pet store. This will help get the younger generation involved. One of the biggest issues I have is purchasing clothes or other accesories for my dogs that I have to buy before seeing if they fit! Have a few samples of things people can try on their pets to see if they like it before having to purchase the item. Last but not least, knowledge can be your best friend. If you know the answers to questions people will toss your way you will be golden. I prefer to shop at a place where the employees are knowledgable about what they are selling. Let people know if you don't know the answer. Be willing to find the answer for them and then call them later with what you found. I would pay a higher price for my pet items if the store was honest and helpful and didn't try to make me think they knew something when they really didn't! I wish I lived closer to you. Just the fact you are asking the general public what their opinions are tells me that you truly care about your store and your customers. Good luck!!!

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Sara S.
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Mar 17, 2008

*sell organic, all natural pet food/treats and other pet products
*encourage volunteering at your store- it'll give people (adults and kids) experience with animals. it teaches responsibility as well as lets people who may not be able to personally own a pet for one reason or another a chance to spend time with animals
*start educational programs for students such as internships, job shadowing, and work release thru local high schools and colleges.

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Theresa
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Mar 17, 2008

Jennifer, Great question! I do not know much about Anderson California but regardless of location I think showcasing shelter animals is the best thing you can do. Team up with the local shelter or rescues. We look for pet friendly stores that allow you to take your pet to the store. If you have room offer training classes and grooming. Provide educational classes for how to care for your small animal such as rabbit, hamster, chinchilla...I do not think I have ever seen such a class in this area. It would be very helpful for first time animal people. Offer a little bit of every thing as far as animal species go. Talk to the local vets to see what the primary breeds and species are in your area. It is a given that you would not be able to compete with large chain stores but hook up with specialty dealers or vendors to offer different items than the run of the mill. If the area demanded it, a consignment service would be great for higher ticketed items to reduce inventory costs. If you had floor space and there was an equestrian clientele a consignment for show equipment would be great. We love all things horse related.
Good luck to you and your husband on this endeavor. We too are a self employed family with a custom cabinet shop.

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