SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- In April, Harps Food Stores here plans to debut an enlarged pet care center that will contain at least 20% more pet merchandise.
Harps' 60,000-square-foot Mountainhome unit is slated to get the first expanded pet assortment, a 40-foot pet center. The chain hopes to complete placing the expanded pet care program at all 40 stores by August, said Art Bundy, nonfood director.
According to Bundy, larger pet sections in supermarkets are part of an industry trend. "It also gives us a larger slice of the pet care market in our area," he commented.
The new 40-foot-long department will contain two parallel 20-foot island gondolas, with at least half the display space devoted to pet supplies.
Pet accessory selections are being widened from 75 to about 100 stockkeeping units, with more space allocated to chew bones and new entries like Control home pet care systems, such as flea treatments. Retails on such items are up to about $18.96.
As part of its new department configurations, Harps will expand its pet supply display space to between 4 and 16 feet from 4 to 8 feet, with products to be pegged and displayed on gondola shelving.
Most stores in the chain will continue to operate in-line pet care departments, Bundy said. Harps promotes pet care, which carries margins of about 40%, in its monthly advertising tabloid.
The chain envisions additional sales opportunities in an expanded accessory assortment and larger pet care departments, which are maintained by store nonfood managers.