Last week was the annual meeting of the best in pet manufacturers, distributors, and vendors at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay. Retailers big and small, ecommerce companies, pet groomers, pet rescuers, and lovers of pets of all shapes and sizes were in attendance.
First, let’s just say it was great to be back since last year’s SuperZoo was cancelled due to the pandemic. This year’s fest was a bit different, with masks and social distancing in place wherever possible. Though a number of vendors opted not to attend this year, those that did were treated to a more intimate opportunity to talk business without the overwhelming crowds usually there.
Still, it was big enough to be a party with both large and small sellers outdoing each other with fabulous displays and treats for both human and animal attendees. SuperZoo caters to sellers of all types of pet products, not just feline and canine. You can see products for small animals like rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. In-person appearances were made by exotic pets like lizards, snakes, bearded dragons, and one large monitor. Around the bend from Critter Alley is Aquatics, featuring an unbelievable selection of tropical fish. The colors, sizes, and shapes were remarkable to see (and to photograph).
Not to be missed was the New Product Showcase, where vendors offer up their newest, most innovative products that are voted on by a jury of peers who select the winners in various product categories. Of course, as in most recent years, the Nature’s Pathway and Health & Wellbeing sections continue to grow by featuring an abundance of natural and holistic products. CBD oils and additives for dogs and cats are extremely popular, with vendors explaining their contributions to pet longevity and comfort in both a physical and emotional sense.
SuperZoo includes a Farm and Feed section, where you can see the latest in chicken coops and healthy feed products. And, not to be left out, is Groomers’ Court where dogs in attendance compete for prizes in various breed categories. Here, pet groomers can find the latest and best equipment to brush, comb, trim and bathe all of their pet customers.
In addition to the rows and rows of manufacturer and distributor booths, SuperZoo runs educational seminars every day concurrent with show hours. At these, retailers can learn the most effective strategies to merchandise their stores and their brands. They can see renowned speakers from the industry in addition to pet experts speaking on everything from pet health from a veterinary and medical standpoint, to store culture, to how to create effective social media.
We at Armarkat are lucky enough to have a booth where samples of our products were there to be seen and added to stores’ inventories! As an ecommerce leader for so long, Armarkat was happy to present our products to both chains and corner store pet shops, along with our best suggestions on merchandising and selling. A business card drop was used for a contest where cat tree and pet bed samples were given to lucky participants at the end of the show. Our most popular new product seems to be Armarkat’s exclusive line of wall climbers for cats. They were, however, second in popularity to the Armarkat-sponsored special appearance by TV star, author, cat behaviorist and our favorite Cat Daddy, Jackson Galaxy.
The face behind the stickers on Armarkat’s boxes, Jackson has given his personal endorsement to most of Armarkat’s cat trees and cat beds. Each model must comply with his strict “catification” criteria before that sticker can be applied. Armarkat was honored to have Jackson at our booth to meet fans for autographs and picture-taking once again this year.
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Against the odds, this year’s SuperZoo still proved to be a Who’s Who of movers and shakers in the world of pets and pet products. At Armarkat’s booth, we welcomed old friends and made new friends throughout the week. We left tired but motivated by the good feelings that we all needed so badly this year. It was wonderful for SuperZoo to be the first big, in-person event for the pet industry this year. Hopefully, those who were not in attendance will be back in full-force to make next year’s show even bigger and better.