ORLANDO, Fla.–WoofMeow, a Derry, N.H.-based full-line pet store, was named the Best Overall Retailer at the first Global Pet Expo Retailer Excellence Awards presentation, sponsored by Wholesalepet.com. The award ceremony was part of this year’s Pet Industry Breakfast on March 1, and was hosted by Global Pet Expo and Pet Business Media. The program recognized standout retailers in a variety of areas that are paramount to success in the pet specialty channel, including:
Best Overall Retailer
sponsored by Coastal Pet Products
WoofMeow, Derry, N.H.
The top prize of the Retailer Excellence Awards program is designed to recognize a pet store that excels in all areas of retailing, including sales, service, design and community. Nominees were considered for their ability to provide a clean, safe and professional environment for customers and employees alike while demonstrating care, concern and knowledge of companion animals.
Moochie & Co and Red Bandanna Pet Food were finalists in the Best Overall Retailer category.
sponsored by Wholesalepet.com
West Lebanon Feed & Supply, West Lebanon, N.H.
This category recognizes a retailer that has made a connection with the local community because of its involvement in a variety of events and/or causes that reach out beyond its store’s four walls. The winner was chosen for its ability to demonstrate fellowship, integrity, a positive attitude and a commitment to giving back to its community.
Chow Hound Pet Supply Warehouse and Chuck & Don's Pet Food Outlet were finalists in the Community Serivce category.
Sponsored by Cardinal Laboratories
Especially For Pets, Newton, Mass.
Consideration for this award focused on the visual displays that the nominees use to increase sales. The stores’ curb appeal, including window displays, as well as the ability of lighting and display fi xtures inside the store to engage customers were major factors in choosing a winner.
Sponsored by ProLabs
Paw's Natural Pet Emporium, Richland, Wash.
This category is designed to acknowledge the professional and friendly relationships that retailers have with their customers. Recognition was given to techniques that address the needs and questions of pet owners, and engage them in a knowledgeable way. The nominees’ ability to demonstrate familiarity with products and services offered in the store, effectively address issues and concerns related to those products and services, overall courtesy to customers were major considerations in selecting a winner.
The Soggy Dog, and Two Bostons Pet Boutique and Gourmet Bakery were finalists in the Customer Service category.
Sponsored by Natural Balance
In this category, consideration was given to nominated retailers’ sales and promotional techniques to attract customers and increase sales. This includes effective use of advertising and public relations mediums including—but not limited to—print, digital, electronic and social media.
Sponsored by Jakks Pets
The Petropolitan, Dallas
This award recognized a retailer that effectively offers a broad spectrum of services to its customers, including but not limited to, grooming, training and boarding.
Sponsored by Fromm Family Foods
Brookline Dog Grooming & Pet Supplies, Brookline, Mass.
Retailers nominated for this award were considered for their ability to demonstrate creative techniques to promote sales of products and services.
Best Buddies Dog Boutique & Bakery, and Gone to the Dogs Boutique & Grooming were finalists in the Merchadising category.
Mike Griffeth, owner of WoofMeow, credited his store’s recognition as the best overall retailer to his devoted staff. He also expressed a traditional approach to pet retailing that many industry veterans will find refreshing in today’s retail environment, where pet stores that sell live animals are becoming too few and far between.
“I have kids,” he says. “And the idea of bringing them into a pet store with no pets just makes no sense to me.”
By all accounts, the first edition of the Global Pet Expo Retailer Excellence Awards was a resounding success. The awards presentation drew a record crowd to the Pet Industry Breakfast; but more importantly, it illustrated Global Pet Expo’s commitment to independent retailers, which are a vital component of a healthy pet industry.
“Retailers play an integral role in the success of Global Pet Expo, and we are thrilled to be offering recognition for their efforts through these new awards,” said Andrew Darmohraj, senior vice president of the American Pet Products Association (APPA). APPA presents the show in conjunction with the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). “We truly value and appreciate all that our pet retailers do for this industry.”
Plans are already in the works for next year’s edition of the Global Pet Expo Retailer Excellence Awards, with the nomination process expected to open within the next few months.