Bosley’s Pet Food Plus

The secret to their success

Bosley’s Pet Food Plus, the B.C.-based purveyor of the best in show for your pet, is the first stop for pet owners dedicated to providing their pet with the best food, supplies and care. With stores dispersed throughout the Lower Mainland, Squamish, and Vancouver Island, the chain’s biggest asset is a philosophy that it can contribute to the healthy wellbeing of animals by providing a tailored selection of premium products and an informative environment that participates in and fosters community involvement.

Education is key

“We take pet care very seriously,” states General Manager Lyndsay Walter. “One thing that has always been important was thinking of the pet first and being able to provide them with the best nutrition possible at the best prices. Customers’ knowledge and attitudes about health have evolved. It’s about making sure we are providing more education and information for our customers and our employees. We subscribe to a philosophy that if you are providing your pets with good nutrition at an early age that is preventative medicine.”

“We have been the consumers’ choice winner for the past 15 years because of our education and service,” adds Mary Prantner, Director of Operations. “We work with our vendor partners and invest a great deal of time in our employees’ education, to ensure our employees continue to be ahead of the industry by keeping informed on the various trends and product development in the market. We are able to give customers the help that they need to find the right product for their pet’s specific requirements.”

Bosley’s Pet Food Plus is a natural fit in B.C., a province renowned for a health-conscious and natural lifestyle, and has the best of local vendors who also subscribe to the philosophy of providing the best ingredients. While always looking for products that “fit our customers’ lifestyle, we buy Canadian where possible and where economically feasible,” says Walter. “We recognize the need for Canadian retailers to support their home grown brands. We have great suppliers who manufacture in Canada and whose products contain ingredients sourced in Canada. We currently carry over 30 different brands of food and we are looking at 40 per cent of those being Canadian.”

The economic downturn did not negatively affect Bosley’s Pet Food Plus, which opened nine new stores in 2011. If anything, it caused customers to forego vacations and stay home, spending more time with their pets on walks and in shows. “We worked with our suppliers to provide our customers with a new assortment of products that would work with their lifestyle—new fashion and reflective collars and leashes for night time safety, interactive toys that stimulate their pet and are fun for pet parents too. We also worked with local businesses to develop a series of in-store events that were fun and educational for our customers, like Puppy socialization, Yappy Hour and Pet Portraits.”

Prantner says many Bosley’s pet specialists live in the communities they work in and are known throughout the pet community, recognized at dog parks, community events and shows. Many of Bosley’s pet specialists are well known within the pet community circle which is indicative of their community involvement and dedication to pets and the pet industry.

Walter, who joined the company last August, deems her job “the best ever”, and is committed to doubling the company size in three years. “There were 23 stores in 2010, since then, we have opened seven stores and with more opening by the end of this year. Franchising is a big component of our growth strategy.”

The company is revamping the brand to make the stores a welcoming and warm environment. “We recognize that our customers are predominantly women, as it is in most retail shopping,” says Walter. “They enjoy an experience that is welcoming, so we are using warmer woods, more tactile product displays, better sight lines making it easier to shop, offering more services, things like self-wash stations.”

The future of Bosley’s Pet Food Plus will be continued growth, a larger franchisee family and more stores to service the B.C. market.

Says Walter, “Bosley’s is such a strong established brand, and it is natural for us to grow because I don’t think you will find a better business model that combines healthy and nutritious pet food, a large assortment of toys and pet supplies, with a group of well informed and enthusiastic pet specialists.”

Couple that with a great new look and it’s a natural fit for British Columbia.