Brick and mortar businesses are facing a crisis — people are eschewing in-store experiences for online shopping and delivery options, which means that physical locations are struggling to keep their doors open. The retail apocalypse is upon us, but what can retailers do to get more people into the stores?
People are working longer hours than they have in generations, so personal time is at a premium. After returning home from work most people are choosing to spend time with loved ones and pets, ordering takeout and binge watching reruns on their favorite streaming service. This lifestyle shift puts retailers and restaurants in a squeeze as they struggle to keep up with the convenience of getting everything delivered right to your door.
Smart businesses are starting to catch on to one crucial thing — Americans spent $72 billion on their pets in 2018, and many pet parents buy based on values. Those factors mean that creating pet friendly policies for a business can get more people out of their houses and into retail and restaurant locations.
There are some surprising retail locations and other businesses that allow customers to bring their pets along. Most people know that you can take your pets to places like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and PetSmart, but there are some surprising businesses that allow pets. While rules vary by location, places like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Crate & Barrel, Jo Ann Fabrics, Old Navy, and Sephora have locations that allow customers to bring their pets along.
There are also lots of businesses that specifically cater to the fact that people go about their daily lives with pets in tow. Ikea stores don’t allow pets inside, but many locations have ‘pet parking’ areas where folks can leave their dogs while they shop. Dollywood has Doggywood, a kennel where people can leave their pets while they visit the amusement park. And many restaurants have special treats for dogs, from a puppuccino at Starbucks to In-and-Out Burger’s pooch patty.
Breweries are growing in numbers across the nation, and many brewery owners are finding that it just makes sense to welcome dogs in courtyards and on patios. While most restaurants don’t allow dogs inside because of health department regulations, biergartens are the perfect place to hang out with your friends and your friends’ dogs. There’s also a growing contingent of cat cafes where people can go to play with adoptable cats while sipping on their favorite beverages.
When businesses show they care about a customer’s family, including pets, as much as they do, it has the potential to unlock a whole new contingent of supporters and regular customers. It’s important for businesses to check local regulations and put ground rules in place to ensure safety and sanitary conditions, but most places have the ability to become pet friendly. It’s even ‘Take Your Dog To Work Day’ on Friday, so check workplace policies to see if you can foster a better work environment by allowing pets in the office. Learn more about the power of pets in business from the infographic below.