In March 2021, the Guardian reported that a whopping 17,500 chain store outlets disappeared from high streets, and it’s well documented the challenges which the high street is facing with an average of 48 shops, restaurants and other leisure and hospitality venues closed permanently every day across England.
It’s time for the high street to think differently, particularly with so many headwinds coming our way. Forward-thinking shops, restaurants and hotels are focusing on creating memorable experiences rather than just shopping, feeding you or providing a bed while travelling.
We’ve seen some venues and high streets do this through the introduction of attractions, or pop-ups. Others host unusual events to draw customers in. We offer another option - become more dog friendly.
Why? Because since the pandemic began we’ve seen the number of dogs in the UK grow by an incredible 3 million. If you're a shop or a restaurant and you don’t welcome dogs, there are a lot of people who will just walk away, equalling an instant loss of potential revenue!
The 21st Century dog owner would never dream of tying up their dog outside a shop or leaving them in a car. Our dogs are part of our family. They go wherever we go. Therefore, closing your door to these customers means that they will just walk away and spend their money elsewhere. It really is that simple.
But, rather than thinking of why customers may not come into a shop or restaurant, we’d advise high street retailers to think about the opportunity that we (the fabulous bunch of dog owners that we are) present.
Dog owners do their research.
Sadly, we live in a world where dogs are not welcome everywhere, and dog owners tend to do their research. It's been reported that there has been a 169% increase in searches for dog-friendly shops on Dogfriendly.co.uk's website compared to the whole of 2020. Meaning that simply by welcoming dogs and telling the world that you do, there is going to be more visibility for your business.
Dog owners love to treat their pets
Money supermarket recently suggested that Brits spend an average of almost £500 on luxury items each year for their beloved dogs! That means that many dog owners are out and about and ready to treat their pets.
So, welcoming dogs also represents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to expand their range to incorporate some treats and goodies for their new four-legged customers.
We love to chat!
As a dog owners we all know we can be a chatty bunch. Whether it's on a morning walk, or someone you pass each day when you're out with your dog in the park, we love to stop, have a chat, share some treats with our dog’s pal and generally pass the time of day. That means that dog owners can be a powerful marketing channel. Spreading the word about your business simply and easily!
We know that our dogs need to behave
Lots of businesses worry that dogs will misbehave when out and about. But, at Caboodle, we know more badly behaved people than we do dogs! As owners, we know that it’s our responsibility to make sure that our dog behaves in social spaces (if they don’t it is not enjoyable and relaxing for us). Most owners have lots of different ways to keep their dog calm and well behaved whilst out and about, whether that’s ensuring they've been exercised beforehand, or incentivising them with food whilst out and about.
Helping owners keep their dogs motivated whilst out and about was one of the reasons why portability was so important to us when we set out to create Caboodle. We knew that our daily dog food boxes needed to not only be delicious and nutritious, they also needed to be portable. Find out more about how and why we created Caboodle by checking out our about us page.