This is a guest blog post written by Mac MacDermaid,
Marketing Specialist for Stokas-Bieri Real Estate.
Whenever I go into a business where they have a pet on the premises, I immediately light up. For some reason it makes me more comfortable and relaxed. Those are the places I love visiting. Among commercial businesses it’s becoming fairly common – typically found in an office setting where there isn’t a constant stream of new people walking in the door.
At International Minute Press in Farmington Hills, the owner’s dog greets you from behind the counter. The aluminum fence manufacturer out of Chesterfield Twp, Elite Fence, has a play area outside the shop. Kenmore Air is a seaplane airline near Seattle that sits off Lake Union. Dogs can be seen walking on the docks and enjoying lake front living. Many of the Traverse City wineries are dog-friendly. One in particular stands out; Bowers Harbor Vineyard not only has several greeter dogs, but each dog has their own bottle of wine dedicated to them!
Commercial properties and retailers aren’t the only pet friendly areas out there; it’s becoming a growing trend among communities too. In downtown Plymouth, MI for example, you’ll see tie-ups for dogs outside of retail shops, along with water. The downtown area sees a lot of foot traffic, and most of those people are toting a dog. There are even highways such as I-75 and I-94 in Michigan that are dedicated to the comfort of our four-legged friends! To find out about which areas are pet friendly in your State, check out the travel guides at http://www.dogfriendly.com/.
Lately there seems to be more and more retailers that are accepting our furry friends into their stores. The Mall at Partridge Creek is an open-air shopping center in Clinton Twp, MI. Leashed pets are allowed in the common areas, but many stores also allow them inside, displaying a sticker on the window to let customers know they are welcome. The mall also has “Dog Comfort Stations” with available water and disposable bags for cleanup.
Among Americans, 44% own a dog and 29% own a cat…not to mention all of the pet owners who prefer birds, small animals such as hamsters and bunnies, reptiles, aquatic pets, and more. There is a famous photo hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago of a woman taking her pet bunny for a walk. People love to talk about their pets just like people love to talk about their kids, because they consider their pet to be a part of their family.
Personally, I tend to spend more time in stores where there are pets. I chat with the owner/employee more than I normally would too. Retailers want their customers to stay in their store longer. Stores have used bright colors, lighting, aromatherapy, and more to increase sales. Considering the high number of pet owners in the U.S., the connection through pets could surpass even the trendiest gimmick.
Because pet owners treat their dogs like family, the demand for quality pet products has increased tremendously over the past few years. It’s no wonder that the major pet supply retailer Petco is looking to secure several new buildings in the next 18 months. With 14 area stores and 1200 stores nationwide, business is booming. Is it a coincidence that they not only feature quality pet products but also cater to pet owners with services such as; dog training, grooming salon, vaccinations, a pooch hotel, and pet sitting? I think not. They know how much people love their pets, and they show their love back to their customers by partnering with over 8,000 non-profit animal welfare groups! Learn more about Petco here: http://www.petco.com/
What are your thoughts on pet friendly retailers? Have you gone out of your way to visit a location because it was pet friendly? Please leave your comments in our comment section!