How to build the best Chew Bar for your pet supply store
Natural dog chews are becoming one of the fastest growing categories in the retail pet supply store1. Does your store have a dedicated section for natural dog chews?
Benefits of natural dog chews for your store:
- Dog chews are known for having high profit margins (most retailers can markup their treats and chews by at least 100%, unlike categories such as dog food)
- As a consumable product, customers will be encouraged to visit your store over and over again to make repeat purchases (unlike a single collar and leash set, which can often be used throughout the duration of a pet’s life)
- Due to the immense variety of available chews, you can easily swap out different variations to keep things interesting for your customer
- Many treats and chews can be paired with puzzle toys that you also stock at your pet supply store - for example, this large WestPaw Qwizl fits perfectly with our standard sized bully sticks.
Stores with a strong selection of dog treats and chews will tend to see an overall increase in sales, because as customers spend more time perusing the aisle, they will be more likely to impulsively add extra dog supplies to their basket.
Benefits of natural chews for dogs:
- Almost every dog loves to chew (pet owners feel good when they can give their dog something that they truly enjoy)
- Chewing helps calm an energetic dog (many dogs don’t get enough exercise and a long lasting chew will keep them occupied)
- Many natural chews are nutritious: often high in protein and low in carbohydrates
How to attract customers to your chew bar:
#1 Make sure customers can tell from far away that your display contains dog chews - use a large sign with easily readable font that says, “Dog Chew Bar” or “Treat Bar” or something similar.
#2 Place some of the inexpensive chews closer to the ground so that customer dogs can easily investigate enticing smells.
#3 Keep the display in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic (such as close to a register, so that every customer who walks through your doors know that it’s there)
#4 Clearly display signage and pricing (many people are bashful to ask a sales associate for the cost of an item and this may create a barrier to customer purchases - don’t miss out on potential sales just because the pricing isn’t visibly posted!)
How to decide what type of chews to stock:
Because there is such a huge variety of dogs - everything from size, age, strength, personal dietary preferences, dietary restrictions, and health - you need to stock a selection of chews that can meet the needs of all the different dogs whose owners frequent your pet supply store.
- For puppies: chews that won’t break puppy teeth and are lower in fat, such as a curly bully stick
- For large powerful chewers: dense, heavy chews, such as super jumbo braided bully sticks or antlers
- For picky dogs: chews with a higher fat content or a little extra odor, such as trachea, tremenda sticks, and gullet strips
- For allergy dogs: novel protein chews, such as ones sourced from venison
- For senior dogs: softer chews such as gullet sticks
- For dogs with sensitive stomachs: single ingredient chews with a low fat content (such as a bully stick sourced from grassfed cattle)
- For dogs with missing teeth: chews that can break apart easily, such as lamb lung wafers
- For tiny breeds: skinny, lightweight chews, such as pixie bully sticks or tripas sticks
- Price point: you need a range of chews at different price points, starting at $0.99/per treat retail, and going up depending on your clientele.
- Cleanliness: some pet owners are very concerned about potential stains on their furniture due to a messy treat - antlers and odor free bully sticks, which have a very low fat content, are some examples of clean, non-greasy chews.
- Odor: many pet owners aren’t willing to give their dog a chew that has a noticeable smell. Odor free bully sticks are a good recommendation for these customers.
Designing a DISPLAY for your Chew Bar
A vertical display is a space-saving option for those shops that need to maximize the usage of every square inch of space (the wooden display rack in this image is available to some of our retailers for free - contact us for more information). Taj Mutt Hal in Denver, CO, customized our rack with black chalkboard labels so that it matches with the rest of her store’s decor.
Keeping all of your products from a single brand on one shelf, and using signage to tie the display all together, will bring visibility to a brand you’re trying to promote (we worked with Pet Depot in Timonium, MD, to design a shelf strip based on their specifications).
If you’ve got the floor space, a large table with individual buckets will make an attractive display that can grab the attention of the majority of your dog-owning customers. This chew bar is one of the first things customers notice when walking into Pets Discount in Omaha, NE.
If you’ve got a certain aesthetic in mind, team up with a local artist to bring your vision to life! This custom-built treat display at Patton Ave Pet Company in Asheville, NC, is one of our favorites!
We would love to see how you’re displaying your treats and chews - comment below with a link to a photo of your chew bar or send us an e-mail!