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Focus Group: your opinions wanted!

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Hey, hello! I'm mulling over an idea for a brick and mortar pet supply shop - VERY long term thing - but I have what I think is a good idea but may not be practical. I would love everyone's opinions.

Say you're going to Petco to shop for things for your kittehs. (Just picking Petco at random because everyone is familiar with them and they have a nationwide, consistent shop layout.) As you walk in, you notice that there is now a large open area near the dog products where customers and their pups are playing with the products. The point of the open area is to let the customers demonstrate, play with and ultimately decide whether or not they like the product enough to buy it. It's a fun and exciting area and people tend to spend some time there with their dogs. As you walk by in that moment, you notice that the customers in that area have four dogs in total, two of which are barking excitedly and there's lots of activity there.

Okay, questions:

1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?

2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?

3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?

4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?

5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you? (Assuming the entrances were well-signed, so you didn't accidentally walk in the wrong one! Eek!)

Any other thoughts are welcome also.
 
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Nobody wants to comment? I'm sincerely looking for your perspectives, experience with other pet shops and what you would want to see in one.
 

Catzzzmeow

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.

Answers are under the questions

1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?

I do take ours out to stores but they remain in a pouch the whole time.

2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?

I am always concerned about them catching something from another cat. Even at vets I have them wipe down the scale and I put them on a blanket/towel so they do not touch the table even though I see them wipe the tables down. So I would not utilize the demo area. I also find cats are not usually as social when meeting another cat. For the safety of my crew I would not chance it.




3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?

Since mine are in a pouch I have no problem walking past other dogs/pets when I am in the store. I stop by birds and fish tanks for my cats to watch them.


4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?

5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you? (Assuming the entrances were well-signed, so you didn't accidentally walk in the wrong one! Eek!)

I also think those who bring pets to stores love to socialize with others so separate entrances might be detrimental to the feeling of uniting people.


Any other thoughts are welcome also.[/QUOTE]
 

Yoda mom

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@SumpinSpecial , hello! Here a few thoughts

Okay, questions:

1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?
I don't bring kitties to the pet store but do bring Gunnar..
Kitties would probably be fine in a pouch .
But I worry about others and if their pets vaccinations are up to date ?
Also , without knowing . The possibility of transmitted illness can be high (like kennel cough and the canine flue outbreak going on )
as well as kitty related transmittable illnesses.

2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?
Neat idea but I think there would need To be s very stringent cleaning routine and ome kitty at a time in the demo area to avoid kitty conflicts .

even then No guarantees . would take a special kitty personality IMHO to go play like a dog
While the dog area may have barking dogs playing . I don't think kitties interact well for "play time "
With each other in a new environment .


3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?
I think it depends on the personality of the kitty -
Some may be fine with their own dogs at home but not to new environments, strange dogs , birds etc


4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?
I do think a separate entrance would be a good idea for people specifically looking to demo toys
Amd have a one kitty at a time / disinfecting routine .. Which may be hard with toys


5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you? (Assuming the entrances were well-signed, so you didn't accidentally walk in the wrong one! Eek!)
I do err on the side of caution
I would prefer separate well marked entrances

Any other thoughts are welcome also.

Great fun idea
I do think it is a lot of logistical work , cost, and concern for transmittable diseases no matter how careful one is ..
(I worry about that stuff even with vet visits amd being my own towel for table tops , scales too .
Airborne etc)

kitties are territorial . I do beleive the play area would have to be one kitty at a time , very secure or even in a separate room !
What if dog leaves doggie area or walks passed and is not fond of cats!
some dogs are fine with their cats at home but may not be outside their home . And hoe many owners just assume they will be fine amd not actually pay attention .

I do think ome kitty at a time is best but it could be too long for some customers to wait .. Then how to disinfect area and toys for the next kitty - especially with if we're using Astro tuf like surfaces etc?

A retail store is a huge jump Amd investment .. Lots to research just like big box stores do research before putting in new locations -

With all the competition out there with the big box pet stores , I have seen some of the smaller ones struggle and eventually disappear when they can't compete with pricimg and discounts
And variety of stock on hand .

We do have a successful small boutique pet store in this beach community .
It Comes down to location location location and the right niche IMHO

I do like your creativity !
Also is there required extra insurance ? Or allowed in lease to have play areas ?
Building owners may worry about vicarious liability

Keep us updated :)

PS..... I would like to see more pet stores have disinfecting supply stations with trash cans like at a gym.
Nothing annoys me more than owners letting their dogs whiz in store and pretend they didn't know
 
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Toa and Ross

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Exciting idea! Good you're doing research. My answer are under the
questions

1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?

Yes, sometimes I take them outside. I never took them into a store cause the stores are not petfriendly


2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?

Yes I would love that. But don't know if the cats would like that? Most cats are not very easy in playing at a place they don't know

3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?

The reason I don't take my cats to stores is because they would be so stressed if there were dogs they need to pass. They would love walking past a bird area but I don't think the birds would love that. And probably my cats won't "pass" the area but stay there:).

4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?

A protected entrance would be perfect!

5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you? (Assuming the entrances were well-signed, so you didn't accidentally walk in the wrong one! Eek!)

With well-signed entrances I would feel much more comfortable and bring my cats!

Good luck @SumpinSpecial Hope other lairians will chime in too
 

Xandria

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Great that you're doing research! Looking forward to your dream coming to fruition!

1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?
Yes, not as often as I used to but I still do.

2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?
That would actually be very cool.

3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?
For us, no. Max likes to make friends with pretty much everyone.. The bird area may be a bit of a distraction! LOL

4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?
That would likely be ideal.

5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you? (Assuming the entrances were well-signed, so you didn't accidentally walk in the wrong one! Eek!)
While I don't think it would be overly confusing, I think it would just be difficult to maintain. Everyone with An animal companion should know how their companion behaves around others in a public area and should act accordingly.
 

Sheldon13

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1. First of all, do you bring your kitties out of the house and into public places like pet stores?

I do this all the time!

2. Would you like to see a play/demo area for cats in the store, similar to the one for dogs?

Not so much for cats, no. Aside from the germs, most cats (including mine) aren't super playful in public areas.

3. Would it be a problem to walk your cat past the dog area to get to the cat product area? Or problems walking your cat near any dogs at any time (like for instance the doorways)? Problems walking your cat past the bird area?

Not for me personally, but I would worry more about the behavior of dogs. I'm very observant when I take Ellie out and I give all dogs a wide berth.

4. If you answered yes to question 3, would you prefer to see a protected entrance to the cat play/demo area so that you didn't have to walk your cat past the dogs and birds?

I wouldn't use a play area, but it would be neat to have segregated cat and dog areas of the store so I could relax a bit.

5. If the store went all the way with separate entrances for each species group (dogs, cats, birds, small pets) would that just be really too confusing so you'd avoid the store altogether? Or would it be better because you'd feel more comfortable bringing your pet to shop with you?

I think if you did this I would only do a dog and cat separate entrance. Even as I am a huge lover of rats, it doesn't make much sense to me to have more separate entrances than 2, as yes I think if would get confusing.

Good luck!


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