A License to Innovate

Steven Shweky, president of Fetch… for pets!, discusses how his company has become a leader in the licensed products arena and how retailers can profit from this dynamic category.





Pet Business: What benefits do carrying licensed products provide to pet specialty retailers?

Steven Shweky: Oftentimes, consumers are more attracted to licensed brands because they recognize the brand. Owners want to provide their pets with the highest quality items, which is why they prefer products coming from a name they know and trust. This is beneficial to retailers because carrying these brands translates into greater sales.



PB: What are the hottest trends in licensed pet products right now?

Shweky: I think the hottest trend is brands that lend credibility to the pet product. Pet owners are always on the lookout for what’s best for their pets, and they want products from a trustworthy name.



PB: What does Fetch look for in a good license?

Shweky: We look for brands that consumers are well acquainted with and interact with in their own life. It’s important that it is a brand that our core consumer connects with. We want owners to be able to share these brands with their pet, whether it’s dressing their dog as their favorite DC Comics character or caring for their pup’s teeth with products from our ARM & HAMMER Canine Oral Care Line.




PB: What is the biggest mistake that retailers make when introducing licensed merchandise into their product mix?
I think the biggest mistake a retailer can make is only carrying two SKUs. It’s really important to develop a presence for the line by carrying a range of products.



PB: Recently, Fetch introduced a few new licenses to its offerings—Sea World-themed aquarium décor, Shout stain and odor products, and Bert’s Bees grooming products for pets. What does each of these licenses bring to their respective product categories?
Burt’s Bees Natural Pet Care Products, debuting in stores this month, bring a higher standard of natural to our pets. The Burt’s Bees brand prides itself in adhering to a set of natural principles which guided the choices in the development of this line. The manufacturing, packaging and distribution of Burt’s Bees Natural Pet Care Products will adhere to the highest environmental standards. All Burt’s Bees Natural Pet Care Products are pH balanced for pets and contain no parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances or sulfates. The line features the power of nature’s ingredients, like buttermilk, chamomile, lavender and honey. Furthermore, all of the packaging is made from post-consumer recycled materials, and the bottles are also designed to be recyclable, allowing for minimal impact on the environment.


SHOUT Pets delivers the same stain fighting power of SHOUT, with products that are specially formulated for the messes left by our pets. No one loves the stains and odors that come with having a pet. That’s why SHOUT Pets provides owners with the tools to take back their home from the messes left by their favorite companions. The line includes three different levels of stain and odor fighting power, Enzymatic, Turbo Oxy and Pro Strength, which ensures that it’s easier than ever to clean up after our pets.
Sea World-themed aquarium décor allows pet owners to bring the wonder of the sea to their home with captivating products and accessories. The line follows SeaWorld’s mission of celebrating, connecting with and caring for the natural world.



PB: What does the future hold for licensed pet products, and for Fetch as a company?
I think that the licensed pet product industry will continue to grow and profit. Consumers will invest more and more into licensed pet products. Pets are a part of our family, and owners are willing to spend the money on quality pet products from names they trust.

As for Fetch… for pets!, we plan to keep growing and expanding our product lines. We will continue to partner with the biggest licensed brands to develop new lines. We also recently added a new division, Fetch… for Innovation, which searches for the hottest trends in the industry. This division aims to enlist the most inventive people in the pet world to assist in the development of new and creative pet products. Inventors with unique pet product ideas should submit them to our website, fetch4pets.com.


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