Opening a Pet Supply Store: All You Need to Know

By on August 23, 2022

Planning to open a pet supply store is not only a niche for pet lovers but also a chance to enter a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Surveys show that pet owners in the U.S. spent $123.6 billion on their pets in 2021. 

However, like any business, success doesn’t happen without preparation, and owning a pet supply store needs prep work for you to pull it off. What do you prepare for a pet store, how do you manage it, how much capital do you need, and how do you keep it afloat?

Businesses can falter for many reasons like owner burnout, workforce issues, financial constraints, and even lack of preparation. Statistics show that 1 in 5 small businesses in the U.S. fails within its first year. 

Planning is crucial when you start something big like your own business. You need to manage your inventory. When opening a pet supply store, part of the preparation is to invest in a shipping container for the products you want to sell.  

Oh, and don’t forget to prepare a concrete business plan.

This article provides an overview of planning, opening, and managing a pet store so you can finally dig in your shovel and begin the groundwork. 

Planning Your Pet Store

Getting into the pet store business is tapping into one of the big markets in the United States. If you’re a pet owner, you probably know several fur parents who can become your potential customers. 

However, it doesn’t end there, and you need to plan a few things more before you commit your time, effort, and money to this kind of business. A successful business has three main ingredients to keep it afloat: niche, customers, and cost.  

Firstly, the niche is your specialty. In this case, you want to put up a pet supply store. It would be best if you established not only a specialty but also expertise. Learn everything you can about pets, their needs, and what their fur parents might be interested in buying.

People, especially pet owners, love to go to shops managed by true pet lovers, not those who just want profit. There’s a layer of genuine care when you talk to storeowners passionate about taking care of pets. 

Secondly, the target market is the source of your income. Customers who love pets are those who want to enter your store. 

In a pet supply store, you must find repeat customers who restock their pet supplies regularly. Almost always, repeat customers who become your regulars will keep your pet supply store open.  

Finally, you need to know about cost and costing. To profit from your pet store business, you need to determine how much it will cost you, how much you will charge customers, and how much your customers are willing to pay. 

The average pet owner will spend up to $111 a month on basic supplies and treats. From that simple estimate, you can quickly calculate if you have enough target customers willing to pay that amount per month in your location. 

On the flip side, you must use sound costing principles and place market competitive prices on your goods and services. You want to get back your expenses and get the most profit without overcharging your customers. 

D-day – Opening Your Pet Store to the Public

You successfully managed to set up everything. You’ve filed the necessary paperwork for business permits. You’ve bought the supplies you’ll sell and did a fair amount of advertising to promote your upcoming business. 

Now is the moment you’re opening your doors to the public, and it’s D-Day. Here are some ideas you can do on your opening day. 

  • Make a buzz on social media. Never underestimate the power of a cute post that goes viral. If you have a good eye for photography, you can capture your store’s images and post them on social media. Remember to connect with pet communities online and advertise your new store. 
  • Invite family and friends. A small crowd will attract onlookers, and some will be pet owners. It will help if you get out more often, talk to people, and make friends from your local community. Remember that regular customers keep supply stores open.
  • Invite people with flyers. If you’re new to a community, you can give flyers to promote your business. However, because a pet supply store is a niche market, you can invite pet owners to your store, especially those whom you already know. 
  • Add music and make your opening grand. There’s nothing wrong with adding music when you start your business. However, ensure it is catchy and somewhat neutral in taste and genre. 

People have different likes in music, and some may not be a fan of your preferred genre. So, always choose the classics or ambient sound music. 

Managing Your Pet Store

You finally got past D-day and now on D-day plus one. You need to hone your managing skills as you’ll be doing this part of the business daily. 

Initially, after your grand opening, you can quickly gauge how many people know you’re open. Also, you can estimate how many customers will return after their pet supplies run out. 

  • Understand and streamline your inventory process. You must know what you need in your store and where to get those supplies. Contact your suppliers, and get the best deals by exploring many options. 
  • Get reliable inventory shipment providers. Many companies will provide reliable and safe shipping services for your supplies. Just choose the company that offers the best deal near your location. 
  • Understand the 10% rule. When you start your business, analyze your sales and pinpoint items that sell fast and those that do not. You can trim off underperforming items to get more space in your store. 

However, there are slow-selling items that are still essential for pets. Explore ways to still have those items without suffering your chance to profit on more sellable goods. 


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