Cleaning Up With Grooming Products
Martha Palmer, director of Wahl Clipper Corporation’s professional animal division, discusses how pet stores can be successful in the home-grooming category.
Pet Business: How is the home grooming category performing in pet specialty stores? What are the important trends driving the category today?
Martha Palmer: Sales continue to do well in the home grooming category because a majority of pet parents are grooming their pets at home. This creates demand for grooming products at pet specialty stores. Pet parents want to keep it simple. They want to know what they need to complete the process. They want to know if the clipper will work on their dog. Therefore, pet specialty stores need to carry everything a pet parent would need, such as grooming tools, nail trimmers/grinders, shampoo and conditioners and of course clippers and blades. Along with that, a knowledgeable staff that can help steer the pet parent in the right direction.
PB: What are some of the essential elements of a well-rounded home grooming category in a pet store?
Palmer: A broad selection of grooming tools, shampoo and conditioners, nail trimmers/nail grinders, clippers and blades, guide combs and a knowledgeable staff.
PB: What is Wahl’s overall approach to developing products for the home grooming category?
Palmer: Wahl uses feedback we receive from home groomers to come up with innovative products that provide home groomers with lightweight, quiet clippers that have an ergonomic design to make the grooming process a safe, painless and enjoyable experience for both the pet owner and animal.
PB: How can professional grooming services and a well-built selection of home grooming products complement each other in pet stores?
Palmer: Some pet parents choose to have their pets groomed by professionals. With the salon inside a pet store, the pet can be groomed, and then the professional groomer on staff can walk the pet parent to the grooming category and recommend the tools necessary for grooming at home in between visits. So often, you don’t see the synergy between the in-store salon associate and the store associates helping the pet parent to choose the right products. Too often they work in “silos” versus capitalizing on both parts of the store.
PB: What are some of the latest new products Wahl has introduced in the home grooming category?
Palmer: Wahl Clipper Corporation has added a Nail Smoother, Nail Filer and Nail Grinder to their offerings. The Nail Smoother is a battery-operated kit, ideal for trimming, shaping and smoothing rough nails on small pets including cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and birds. The Nail Filer is also a battery-operated kit for small pets, but is lightweight at 3.2 ounces and has two forward and two reverse speeds, allowing for easy grinding in all directions. The Nail Grinder is a professional-grade corded grinder kit that is ideal for trimming, shaping and smoothing rough nails on pets of all sizes.