Perspectives on Excellence
By Mark Kalaygian
November 20, 2013

It seems impossible that nine months have passed since the latest edition of Global Pet Expo. But as the year quickly comes to a close, the reality is it's already time to start looking forward to Global Pet Expo 2014, which will be held March 12-14, in Orlando, Fla. And there is a lot to look forward to, including the third-annual Retailer Excellence Awards (REA). Nowhere else in the industry can you find an awards program like the REAs, which honors independent pet specialty retailers in a variety of categories, such as marketing, customer service and community service.

While we still have a few months before the awards are presented (the presetation will take place at the Industry Breakfast before day two of the show on March 13), the nomination process is in full swing. If you haven't already, take a moment to nominate your business—or any worthy pet retailer that you know. But before you do, have a look at what last year's winner had to say about the Retailer Excellence Awards, as well as their approach to the categories in which they were honored. Click on the links below to read exclusive Q&As with last year's REA honorees.




Best Overall Single-Store Retailer

West Lebanon Feed & Supply -  West Lebanon, N.H.

Curt & Sharon Jacques, owners

 

 

Best Overall Multi-Unit Retailer (less than 10 stores)

Paws Natural Pet Emporium - Richland, Wash.

 


Best Overall Multi-Unit Retailer (10 or more stores)

 

Kriser’s - Chicago

Brad Kriser, founder/CEO

 

 

Best Live-Animal Retailer

Absolutely Fish - West Clifton, N.J.

Patrick Donston, owner

 

 

Merchandising Excellence

Treats Unleashed - Chesterfield, Mo.

Teresa Miller, owner

 

 

Multi-Service Excellence

Healthy Spot - Santa Monica, Calif.

Andrew Kim, co-owner

 

 

Excellence in Store Design

Royal Pets Market & Resort - Carollwood, Fla.

Denise Wolin-Gore, CEO/president

 

 

Marketing Excellence

TailsSpin - Savannah, Ga.

Jusak Yang Bernhard, co-owner

 

 

Customer Service Excellence

Chew On This Dog Barkery - Frankfort, Ill.

Teresa Kara, owner

 

 

Community Service Excellence

Chuck & Don’s - Mahtomedi, Minn.

Wendy Bartz, manager of corporate purchasing