Standard Protocol

Happy belated New Year! January is a busy month for the Pet Business staff—in addition to our monthly issue; we're busy working on all of Global Pet Expo's official publications. However, before we put another issue to rest, I wanted to note that 2013 is special year for us at Pet Business media. We’re celebrating our 40-year anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, I'll be delving through our archives all year long and reposting some of our most timely content for a refresher on the best tips for your pet retail business.
Hot on the heels of another pet product recall—Purina and Milo's Kitchen both announced recalls of chicken jerky treats last week—I looked back to 2007, when pet food recalls were a hot topic both inside and outside the industry. Since then, undoubtedly, retailers have refined their protocols for dealing with recalls.
Here are some tips from our May 2007 cover story that should be standard procedure during any pet food or treat recall:
•    Identifying and removing affected product from retail shelves should be a retailer’s first priority.
•    After ensuring that no affected products remain on the store’s shelves, a retailer’s next priority should be reaching out to the store’s customer base to provide clear, concise information about the recall, and answering any questions they have.
•    Product recalls present retailers with an opportunity to open a dialogue with their customers. Take the time to send letters to customers in your database and offer coupons for foods [or treats] that were not involved in the recall.

Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Petagogy agrees with those basics. The pet specialty retailer reached out to us through Twitter with tips on handling recalls.

"Announce [a recall] through all channels, continuously update consumers, contact buyers through [its] loyalty system, take back all product and do not create hysterics."