As the days grow longer and warmer, it’s time to prepare for summer merchandising. Picnics, parades, graduations and vacations are on the calendar, and pets will be part of those activities for many American families. Pet retailers can help their customers think about their summer product needs with themed displays, in-store events and promotions.

Have fun with storefront displays and endcaps. Dog toys, such as balls, discs, throw sticks and chews, are easy to put together and display. If you are more ambitious about summer merchandising, create displays that appeal to customers who travel with their pets and those who take pets to the beach, pool and on hikes.

Traveling Pets

Whether going on a day trip to visit relatives or spending the week camping with the family, cats, dogs and other pets need special supplies to travel safely and with low stress. Travel-related products can be grouped in and around old suitcases. Sprinkle fake passports or travel-type postcards featuring pets throughout the display. Under a banner or sign that reads “Travel Solutions,” place products such as:

  • Pet carriers
  • Car safety products: restraints, harnesses, booster seats
  • Flea, tick and mosquito repellant
  • Portable water and food bowls
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Calming supplements

Near-Store Event Idea: Hold a car safety event (like a child safety-seat check) near the store in a parking lot or park. Show pet parents how to properly use restraints, harnesses and booster seats in their cars.  Hand out treat samples and discount coupons for merchandise that needs to move off your shelves.

Water Wise

Some dogs like swimming and others are fine just sitting by the side of the pool. A display of water-themed products could include a plush dog on a surfboard, a colorful beach umbrella and beach chair or a blow-up kiddie pool filled with products, such as:

  • Life jackets for dogs
  • Paw Boots
  • Paw Wax
  • Portable water and food bowls
  • Treats

Promotion Idea: Located in a resort area that is busy in the summer? Advertise your store with a discount coupon in welcome packets offered by rental realtors, hotels/motels and campgrounds. Don’t forget to include a map showing your location.

Outdoor Adventure

Dogs usually love being outdoors. Some are eager hikers and runners. Others enjoy being on a boat, while some dogs just like exploring their own backyard or a nearby park. An in-store display devoted to the outdoors may include a small tent and framed photos/posters of outdoor scenes. Consider bushes, small trees and flowers in containers. Fill a picnic basket full or food and treats. Include a rowboat or small canoe and fill it with products such as:

  • Paw boots
  • Paw wax
  • Flea, tick and mosquito repellant
  • Cleaning products
  • Portable water and food bowls
  • Treats

Promotion Idea: Have customers submit photos of their pets on “summer vacation.” Give prizes for categories such as: 1. Most exotic vacation photo. 2. Most relaxing vacation photo. 3. Most active vacation photo. 4. Best pet on the beach photo. 5. Best pet at the park photo. 6. Best pet in the backyard photo. 7. Best pet camping photo. Post the photos on your social media channels and in the store. Give a discount coupon to all pet parents who enter the contest.

Patriotic Theme

One way to include pets (cats, fish, small animals, birds) other than dogs in your displays and promotions is to create a patriotic display with a red, white and blue theme. You can group food, treats, toys and supplies near a “Made in the USA” banner or sign. Celebrate the holiday with flags, bunting, ribbons, streamers and other Independence Day decorations inside and outside your store.

Near-Store Event: Partner with a nearby business to hold an Independence Day pet parade in a local park or other municipal outdoor space. Offer merchandise prizes and give all participants a discount coupon for your store. Promote the parade on your social media channels and invite the local media to cover the event.

For visual inspiration, search for “Pet Store Display” on Pinterest.