Holiday Toy Story

Industry News

Old shoes and crumpled paper just won’t do in Fido and Tiger’s holiday stockings. Expect pet parents to pamper their fur babies with new pet toys and treats this holiday season, so fill endcaps and shelves with a variety of fun products for dog and cats.

Toys help enrich our pets’ lives. They stimulate senses and awaken natural instincts. Each year, more than half of American households purchase new toys for their pets, with toys being the largest durable canine and feline category. Toy sales totaled more than $1 billion in 2016, with about 75 percent going to dog toys and 25 percent to cat toys.

It’s not just holiday gift giving that drives pet toy sales. The understanding that exercise is good for the body and mind is now being transferred to our pets. The movement and fun associated with playing have physical and mental health benefits for people and animals, and the bond that comes from the human-pet interaction impacts well-being. Innovative pet toys are helping pets and their owners move their bodies and sharpen their minds.

Get in the Game

Your merchandise mix should reflect that more dog owners purchase toys than cat owners. For your canine customers, stock ropes, balls, ball launchers, chew toys, flying discs, puzzle toys and plush. Set up dog toy displays so that customers can easily touch the toys and dogs can sniff them.

Catnip-stuffed toys typically are beloved by cats. Most cats also go wild over laser toys and treat-hiding toys. Electronic toys for cats remain popular and result in a higher transaction cost. Cat toys are typically small enough to merchandise near your cat food shelves for impulse buying.

Toy (and Treat) Merchandising

Toys sell throughout the year and have no expiration date, so endcaps are a great place for merchandising your top toy sellers. Include treats in or near your toy displays to capture additional add-on purchases. Clip strips are a great investment for small spaces near your check-out counter or other high-traffic areas.

Food aisles endcaps should rotate monthly and hold items that promote incremental sales. Frequently rotate “power aisles” endcaps to create a fresh shopping experience. The “by the foot” programs are quick ways to refresh the in-aisle toy sets in a store. Planograms feature best sellers to make the most of the space.

This time of year, it’s easy to disrupt a pet food sale with dog and cat toys at your counter. Don’t overdo clutter your counter, but offer a unique selection of toys and treats within reach for incremental purchases.

Be playful with your holiday and merchandising to help spread the joy of pet gift giving and create a happy financial ending to your toy story.