- Space Odyssey
As far as in-store positioning goes, private label or not, pet products don’t have to stay in the pet aisle. Space to sales is key in every category. Pet food must be displayed in those stores that index high for pet food. As Nicky Walsh, director of business development at Stamford, Conn.-based Daymon for Tops Markets LLC, in Williamsville, N.Y., notes, “Customers need to see it, because they do not always go down the pet aisle.” Advertising and social media campaigns rarely feature store brands. Shelf merchandising can really make or break a private label brand.
This is especially true for new products, says Jennifer Lord, group manager of five Paw Mart locations for South Bend, Ind.-based Martin's Super Markets. “New products sometimes start out slow,” she notes. “You must do specific callouts to target a specific clientele. Then you must continue to educate your consumer to help the product grow.”
But she also cautions not to mistake bigger for better. Adding more shelf space isn’t required for making an impression. “You don’t particularly need lots of shelf space for successful promotion,” counsels Lord. “You just need to detail it correctly. It needs to have the proper signage and in the right location. A simple and clean look is the best. Try to not make your display look too busy. Proper signage will sell your product.”
“Carrying a private label can be an advantage to the store if they can create a following." --Jennifer Lord, Martin's Paw Mart pet stores