Sustaining a Skin Care Empire
Glo-Marr has managed to stay relevant for over 50 years despite the increasing competition and an ever-changing market.
Since 1965, when its first batch of shampoo was created in founder Fred Nicolosi’s Florida kitchen, Glo-Marr has been ahead of the curve when it comes to pet skin care products. The company’s shampoo has been soap- and detergent-free from the start, which primed it to be successful in today’s markets, where pet owners are more concerned than ever about what goes into the products they use on their four-legged friends. And with problem skin caused by many factors, Glo-Marr has always looked for new ways to bring relief to pets.
Steve Nicolosi and his father, Fred.
“Fred, a veterinary technician, saw a need for quality, soap- and detergent-free shampoo that was safe to use on all pets that were prone to skin problems and fleas in the warm Florida climate,” says Steve Nicolosi, national sales manager and co-owner of Glo-Marr. “The first product, Pink Pup Shampoo, met those specifications but also catered to the popular “pink poodle” fascination of the ’50s and ’60s. It was a hit.”
Since that first shampoo took off, there have been many additions to the brand, which now includes shampoos, conditioners, colognes, lotions, creams, and more. The company has even branched into canine and feline supplements to keep pets healthy on the inside, as well. This variety of products is what makes Glo-Marr stand out amongst other pet skin care products.
“Our best selling products traditionally are our skin care and remoisturizing products, with our Kalaya Emu Oil items leading the way. It is mainly unique to us and offers more than just your average Oatmeal or Aloe shampoos,” says Nicolosi.
Glo-Marr’s products are distributed under multiple brands. Its Kenic line is the heart of the company, as well as the largest product family. But as times have changed, so too have the trends, and to stay relevant Glo-Marr has added new products and lines with different looks, purposes and price points. Most of the Kenic brand hovers in the $7 to $15 range. The majority of the Kenic products are also available in 1-gal., 5-gal. and 55-gal. containers at specialty pricing.
The Kenic Retro line—which includes the original Pink Pup Shampoo—and the Barktini Blends line are both unique and cater to the ever-growing boutique grooming market within the pet skin care industry. The Barktini Blends come in unique scents such as Cosmopolitan, Daquiri, Margarita and Piña Colada. In addition to Pink Pup, the Retro line includes Blue Bow Wow, Mellow Mutt & Meow, and Purple Pooch & Purr shampoos, as well as a Kenic Retro POP display for retailers. All of the Barktini Blends and Kenic Retro shampoos are under $10.
Dawn Duncan's Labradoodle, Max.
The Retro line is a reminder of where the company started and is still useful today. Dawn Duncan, vice president and co-owner, uses the Pink Pup shampoo on her own Labradoodle, Max. “It has a degreaser in it and it really cuts the greasy ear funk, cleans well and makes his coat so manageable,” she says.
Private Label Prosperity
While all of its lines are important and unique, perhaps the biggest contributor to past and future success is Glo-Marr’s private label brand. The company works with businesses from formulation, to packaging and labeling, and finally distribution and shipping. Customers see the products that are already being manufactured, and can either choose an existing formula or customize it to their liking.
Fred spent much of his career being very hands-on and looking for ways to do as much as possible in house to control quality and offer low minimums to its customers, according to Nicolosi. The company has been partnering with private labels for the last 25 years and their Balance line of products even started out as a private label that Glo-Marr decided to purchase from the business.
“We had a large distributor that we manufactured for, and they ended up closing their doors when the owner decided to retire. They are essentially the same product types and formulas, just with different labels. The company did such a good job creating brand awareness with their loyal customers, we decided to acquire the rights to the Balance name and keep manufacturing it as just another line offering to our customers,” says Nicolosi.
Glo-Marr’s proven success over the past 50-plus years, not only with the Balance brand but other private labels as well, is what earned the company the trust that clients have in its products. In today’s market where the Amazons and Walmarts of the world are monopolizing on sales of all industries, it’s important as a business owner to stand out amongst competitors.
“Having a private label line for a distributor or individual storeowner is very important,” says Nicolosi. “Private label keeps your customers coming back to you. It is a great weapon against big-box stores and Amazon-type marketplaces.”
Still, the company’s private label business wouldn’t exist without the solid brand names it has out there. And as the industry continues to evolve, so do its products and lines. Nicolosi says Glo-Marr intends to keep building its signature lines, and continue growing. The company is always on the lookout for new ideas.
“We constantly look for suggestions and feedback from our loyal customers and their evolving needs,” says Nicolosi. “We also get ideas from attending trade shows and keeping a close eye on our ever-changing industry. We have to keep ahead of the game!”
In keeping up with the changing times, Glo-Marr recently launched a new website and catalog, and has rebranded its logo. Nicolosi says they want visitors to the new site to see that their products are “At the heart of every healthy and happy pet.” When it comes to future releases however, the company is keeping mum. While Glo-marr has some innovative ideas for 2018, you’re going to have to stay tuned for updates. PB