This year the holiday season crept on me way before I had a chance to summon up any holiday cheer. I was dangerously on the verge of being the only one who shows up to a meticulously planned holiday gathering shamefully and completely empty handed because I just “wasn’t into it” this year. When I finally hit the mall, barely awake early on Saturday morning, I was thankful for the soulful choir belting out holiday classics, street-vendor like tables filling up spare space with sparkly, colorful wares that could make nice gifts, and the stores that, unlike me, thought to throw up some eye-catching decorations in their windows, along with displays of new merchandise. It was just enough to inspire me to open my wallet and get into the spirit of things.
My point? We recession weary shoppers need a little help from retailers to spark our curiosity and get us spending again—especially after this year’s holiday season is put to bed. It’s only one of the lessons pet specialty retailers, which although, in many cases, have fared better than so many others, can learn from the struggles, failures and successes of other industries.
In the January issue, our cover story takes a look at what pet retailers can glean from how retailers in other markets have fared—what seems to work and what doesn’t. While we’ve all heard that the economy is in recovery, indications are that things won’t bounce back over night. And some experts say shoppers will continue to be much more judicious with their money from here on out. It’s wise of retailers to keep bringing there “A game” and taking what lessons they can from the dismal economic funk we are hopefully emerging from none too soon.