Meeting of the Minds
By Seth Mendelson

Did Petailing2010 work for you?

More than 100 retailers, manufacturers and distributors attended the two-day conference, hosted by Pet Business magazine and the American Pet Products Association (APPA), in Las Vegas in late October.

Most came to find out what measures they could take to build sales at the retail level and how to implement a wide range of merchandising and marketing strategies to ensure that they have a chance with today’s increasingly fickle consumer.

Pet Business and APPA created Petailing because many retailers were asking us for more information on how to develop and run their businesses. The retail pet industry, as we all know, is being squeezed on all sides, and merchants need to understand all of the opportunities and risks. The event was also designed to help the pet industry learn as much as possible about consumer shopping patterns and what can be done to attract them to pet stores and down the pet aisles of the nation’s retailers.

I think we accomplished our mission. Petailing2010 brought together industry officials in a forum that fostered communication and helped spur ideas on what was needed to help the pet industry grow. A variety of speakers, including officials from Nestlé Purina, Packaged Facts, Accenture and Fetching Communications, as well as several retailers, gave attendees a laundry list of consumer behaviors, actions and data that should serve as a foundation for the development of a sound merchandising approach. Two panel discussions, one consisting of retailers and the other of wholesalers, helped to explain the challenges ahead for retailers, wholesalers and the entire industry. 

But what made this event really stand out was the opportunity for industry officials to share ideas amongst themselves, through informal meetings and during meals.

This was the first go-round for Petailing, and we are sure that with the help of APPA and our sponsor partners–including Nestlé Purina, Furminator, Hartz Mountain, Bayer Animal Health and the New York City Pet Show–next year’s event will offer even more information for the industry to use to their advantage. Details about next year’s event will be published in the near future. In the meantime, Pet Business has thumbnail drives with the presentations on them. If you would like a copy, email a request to