It might be one of the easiest product categories to take for granted, but smart retailers know that collars, leashes and harnesses can drive healthy margins if they’re well promoted, smartly positioned and intelligently pushed by knowledgeable salespeople.
There is a great selling opportunity with collars, leashes and harnesses, because of the sheer number of wonderful styles and designs available for just about any customer. And choice is more important to customers for this product group than one might think. Don’t assume customers look at a collar and lead simply for utilitarian function–it’s got to look good on the dog. So if the offering is limited, or simply displayed as “oh yeah, and here are the collars,” then the store is missing an important opportunity to reach customers. And don’t forget to offer variety of materials. Leather, nylon, hemp, cotton, plastic and acrylic all have their place in a collar, leash and harness display.
The selection of leashes should include retractable; four-, five- and six-foot; short traffic, twin couplers; hands-free with traffic handles; and bungee-type. Each has unique design qualities that address specific issues for dogs with certain behaviors.
Traditional harnesses come in a number of design configurations, such as Roman, figure-8 and step-in. Training harnesses are particularly important to stock, because they allow the retailer to act as an expert on dog training. Take the time to train employees on how to help customers achieve the proper fit on customers’ dogs.