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Shoppers on a tighter leash

BY Barbara White-Sax

The recession has taken a toll on the pet category, according to some companies. A recent report from Cascadia Capital revealed that 35% of consumers said they curtailed pet expenditures in 2011 due to the economy. Spending on pets is expected to hit the $50 billion mark in 2011, an increase of 5% over 2010, according to the American Pet Products Association. Packaged Facts predicted that the industry will grow 5.9% in 2012.


The pet food category, which continues to get more crowded as segmentation increases, had limited growth. Growth in the super premium segment has slowed, according to 
Cascadia Capital.


Sales of meat treats, vegetarian treats and weight-control treats also were on the rise since 2008, according to a representative from the APPA. Nutraceutical treats are growing at a fast pace, particularly in the specialty channel.


According to the APPA’s 2011/2012 National Pet Owners Survey, among dog toys purchased in 2010, types that were purchased more often since 2008 included dental ropes, plush toys and hard/solid rubber toys. According to the survey, 39% of pet owners purchased solid/rubber toys versus just 28% in 2008. 


Grooming and health products also are growing segments in the category, and sales of dog beds were up last year, based on data from the APPA.

  

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Pet Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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That new car smell

BY Barbara White-Sax

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble has extended the Febreze brand with a new vent strip for the car. Febreze Car vent clip, available in five new scents, is designed specifically for the car to eliminate odors and keep air fresh for up 
to 30 days.


The Febreze Car vent clip easily attaches onto a vehicle’s air vent, and the product’s unique delivery system slowly releases scent day after day without becoming too overpowering. Suggested retail price on the new product is $2.99 for a single and $5.49 for a double pack.

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Q&A: At the front-end

BY DSN STAFF

The National Community Pharmacists Association recently unleashed a new front-end program that has seen more than 20% growth in test pilots. 
Driving that program is 35-year retail veteran Gabe Trahan, NCPA senior director of store operations and marketing. Drug Store News caught up with Trahan to discuss the kinds of tools that can be 
accessed as part of the new program. 


DSN: What are the primary elements?


Gabe Trahan: This initiative has all kinds of layers. When you go to our [Web] page, you’ll find one-page tips on an array of subjects. … Another great part of this is that people are starting to take part of the program. We have a [tool] called the “Overhaul Hall of Fame” … stores are sending us pictures of products they’ve merchandised and had success [with]. … It’s all there as an inspiration. … The final [aspect] is we’re offering store visits. If you really need someone to come down and walk and talk with you, we can do that … and that comes with six months of follow-up and support.


DSN: How do you customize the program when the actual selling space is such a significant variable?


Trahan: The basics are needed by everybody. Whether you’re a 1,200-sq.-ft. store or 15,000-sq.-ft. store, you still have to meet the needs of your customers. One-out-of-every-6 people … move each year. Small store or big store, you need to 
attract these new people who are moving into 
your hometown.


DSN: How do you match front-end mixes to nearby specialty practices?


Trahan: We find out what the practices are, what [the independent’s] floor plan is going to be and the expected displays of merchandise and categories. From there we’re going to put together a plan 
for [that independent]. … We think we can help most people.

For the full audio Q&A, click here.

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