Going beyond stocking its shelves with pet products, Strosniders Hardware has welcomed furry friends into its stores. Strosniders, which has three locations in Maryland, has allowed customers to bring pets into its locations for about 15 years, a policy that has boosted customer relations. Here are three reasons to welcome pets into your store.
Connect with your pet-loving customers. Claire Peterson, marketing and events manager for Strosniders, says the stores’ owners saw how much their customers were invested in their furry friends and decided to welcome pets to provide the best possible shopping experience.
“Customers who mostly shop at pet-friendly places have been especially appreciative of the initiative,” she says. “For us, it’s been less about increasing sales and more about connecting with our customers. We love seeing their pets in the stores just as much as they love bringing them in.”
Offer customers extra convenience. Chuck Kelley, pet buyer for the company’s Bethesda location, says customers appreciate the convenience of being able to bring their pet along to the hardware store. “Our customers love that they can get two things done at once—walk their dog and complete their errands,” says Kelley. “We can tell the pets enjoy coming in the store, too.”
Engage customers on social media. Pets that visit the stores even have their own hashtag, #PetsofStrosniders. The social media campaign started two years ago to spread awareness that the stores are pet-friendly, Peterson says, and has been a fun way to interact with customers online. “It’s garnered nothing but positive engagement from the community, and we plan on continuing with it indefinitely,” she says.
Even if pet products aren’t your niche, learn ways to sell pet products in your store in this Hardware Retailing story. Plus, subscribe to Hardware Retailing to discover the latest trends in the pet category in the upcoming June issue.