Meet H.A.N.K. (Health and Nutrition Kiosk) - Pet Planet Introduces a Brilliant New Technology to Benefit the Health of our Beloved Pets.

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For the last 15 years, passion has fueled innovation at Pet Planet - a community-oriented specialty retail store, expanding throughout N. America, with a core focus to provide consumers with the best ways to improve and maintain the health of their pet companions.

Meet H.A.N.K.

“Pet Planet has focused strictly on the total health, wellness and welfare of pets. We have vocally and successfully advocated for change in the area of pet acquisition, we have provided information and education material that has helped thousands of families make better health decisions for their pets, and we have become a trusted resource that helps to clarify the confusion associated with a “hot” industry full of unscrupulous marketing strategies and misinformation.”

  • Laura Leah English, CEO & Co-Founder of Pet Planet

Pet Industry Overview:

Even in times of economic instability, the pet business has held very strong. Why? People today embrace animals as individuals and important members of the family which continues to positively affect the animal health and welfare movement.

Given the growth of the entire pet industry and the subsequent interest it has garnered, increased and intense competition has ensued. Competition has come from the mass markets, multinational (food) companies, specialty (product) manufacturers as well as (small and large) retailers. The result has been significant pressures on the specialized pet sector.

As with any industry that experiences the kind of rapid growth that the entire pet industry has experienced over the past decade, many competitors “jump in” to get a piece of it. Often times, when this happens, it creates confusion for the consumer. In an unregulated environment, marketing strategies can be misleading and misdirected, causing many pet loving Guardians to question what truly is “right” and healthy for their pets.

Pet Planet’s Mission:

Pet Planet is an innovative pet supply health store chain with a mission to change an industry and to “just do better”. As a fast-growing but purposeful company that owns corporate stores and offers franchise rights to passionate and like-minded entrepreneurs, Pet Planet is indeed impacting change. It’s adopted Guardianship Movement has garnered much attention in Canada and is now influential in the Arizona market where they have recently initiated their US expansion strategy. Observing and understanding the need for a more ethical retail store that encourages their 12 points of Guardianship and offers only healthy and trusted products, Pet Planet’s goals include expansion into many key North American markets to continue to impact change, make a difference in the communities it serves and positively impact how society views and treats its pets.

Meet H.A.N.K. (Health and Nutrition Kiosk) - Passion Creates Innovation:

Pet Planet’s core philosophies are the fuel behind their differentiation. Innovation comes from having an uncompromising vision, a commitment to ethics and the application of technology. In an industry where technology is under-utilized as a strategic point of differentiation Pet Planet is truly unique.

Laura Leah’s passion to provide the very best for beloved pets has led to new innovation, with the introduction of H.A.N.K. - Pet Planet’s Health and Nutrition Kiosk - launched in all Pet Planet stores across North America in March 2012. This brand new custom webbased program, developed by Pet Planet, is truly one-of-a-kind in the pet industry. H.A.N.K. is designed to be easy to use, consistent, educational and most importantly accurate with its recommendations for customers and their pets.

Customers are prompted to answer a few simple questions to build a permanent and always-accessible health file for their pet. Once complete, H.A.N.K. will provide appropriate recommendations on food, supplements, treats, toys and, of course, offer access to the new Pet Planet Nutrition & Health Education Center. The results and additional education material will be sent to the customer’s email so they can learn more about the recommendations and continue their own research to make the very best decisions on products that would be a perfect fit for their pet’s health.

A pet’s health file is always accessible. Any time Pet Planet customers return to the store they have the ability to review, update or modify their pet’s information to gain even more valuable education on products and services that may benefit their pet’s health. “As a resource for all things pet health-related, H.A.N.K. is truly revolutionary in its approach to providing accurate information, clarifying the confusion and assisting families make the best decisions they can for the health and longevity of their pets.”

So many families are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their beloved pets. Historically, there are have been tragic instances with sad outcomes when pets have, unknowingly, been given tainted pet food or unsafe pet products. Trusting foods, treats, toys and other products designed for our pets has become a difficult and confusing process. There are an abundance of retailers who suggest that they only sell healthy, natural products - but, there are unfortunately very few who actually do. From dangerous rawhide to cat litter with toxic ingredients to poor quality pet food, it is no wonder that so many people are confused. Pet Planet’s innovation in core programs, product research, product selection and business operating systems, has positioned them as truly a leader in trust. Pet Planet’s innovation has positioned them to clarify the confusion.

The Story of Pet Planet:

Nearly 15 years ago, Laura Leah English and her mother Joan Bauer, opened the doors to their first Pet Planet store with a vision to be more than just a store, but with a dream:

“To encourage a global society where all pets are loved, respected, protected and kept in good health; a society without pet overpopulation, homelessness or abuse.”

Through passion and innovation, Laura Leah English and Joan Bauer have grown Pet Planet to 41 locations in North America, including 32 that are franchise-operated and with 9 more store openings in the near future. Pet Planet has entered the U.S. market with its first stores in Arizona, educating Guardians about the health and well-being of animal companions.

Laura Leah understands the need for a healthy pet and has always gone above and beyond the call of duty for her four legged companions. Her inspiration for Pet Planet was Reuben. A Cocker Spaniel who stole her family’s hearts, Reuben was an example of everything that can go wrong when choosing a pet companion. From the beginning, Reuben was not a healthy dog. He was purchase from a backyard breeder with less than desirable genetics and had serious temperament issues. From nutrition to training, it seemed impossible to find the correct information to improve his quality of life. Even when asked, pet industry workers seemed unable to offer information on the differences in pet foods.

Facing hurdles in finding good nutrition, Laura Leah relied on high budget television advertising campaigns for what seemed the most believable in grocery quality pet food health and nutrition. Consequently, Reuben was fed a poor quality grocery store brand devoid of nutrients. Striving for a healthy, happy pet with an abundance of flawed and inaccurate information was impossible and ultimately led to a very painful end. Reuben died of cancer at 7 years of age.

Reuben's story is not an unusual one. Problems associated with poor quality commercial diets are seen every day at veterinary offices. Cancer, behavioral issues, and degenerative illnesses can all stem from poor nutrition. Surrenders to Humane Societies and other agencies are abundant for a variety of reasons from "we weren't prepared for what it takes" to "he has behavior problems". Pet Planet was created to help change these discouraging facts.

Through efforts such as English’s, healthy and safe nutritional products are evolving to meet the changing customer demands. Healthy pets can now enjoy a longer life. “Guardians want to provide the very best for their beloved companions. We want to help them in doing so by being their community resource, providing factual information so our customers can make good, educated decisions related to their pets’ health” states Laura Leah. “Healthy does not mean expensive. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is less expensive to feed your pet than mass-produced products using low quality ingredients.”

The Future is Bright:

Opening its doors with just one health store in 1996, Pet Planet has built its brand and reputation one customer at a time through retail innovation and an uncompromising vision for what a community pet health store should be for its customers. It’s founders created Pet Planet with the high expectations that they demanded as consumers - but, couldn’t find. Laura Leah English and Joan Bauer now enjoy growth throughout N. America, with over 40 stores and many more on the horizon as strong store sales fuel growth in corporate and franchise-owned stores.

Currently, there is no other small format specialty pet retailer in existence with the same commitment to innovation, vision for what a community store should be, philosophies on animal health and welfare, and a strong commitment to the customer’s needs and with an operating system that really drives success.

It is evident that the growth of the pet industry is not just a trend - it is growing as the core family structure and dynamic has shifted. Now, pets are identified as members of the family and the close relationship between man and dog will continue to ignite a demand for healthier choices. Those that have loved an animal overwhelming agree that a heart opens in a most wonderful way. The benefits of having pets in our lives are real and proven. Consequently, the demand for community pet health resource centers like Pet Planet will only grow. Pet Planet has proven, after over 15 years of experience, that people value the products and services the stores provide, and that they want Pet Planet to continue being the voice for pet health and welfare everywhere.

Pet Planet’s Competitive Edge:

Store format
Small, community-format stores that maintain a low overhead

Strict location selection criteria along with strong lease negotiation

Buying power
Drives high volumes and maintains a strong reputation with its suppliers, with buying power to command great wholesale pricing

Customer service
Relies on customers word-of-mouth to advertise its stores - Pet Planet provides outstanding customer service and education for its consumers, and in turn, they speak positively about us to their friends and family. Consequently, the company does not have to spend a large amount of money attracting new customers to its stores.

Cash management
Has a finite and uncompromising commitment to watching every penny spent.

Strong financial model
Strong operating system that allows a JIT (just-in-time) inventory management system to purchase merchandise in a timely manner, without burdening cash flow.

Low price leader
The company has been the leader in low prices in the specialty sector for over 15 years. They are vocal with suppliers to keep prices low and were the first to initiate price reductions in a time when prices were inflating..

Established in: 1996
Average store size: 2500 sq. feet
Stores in N. America: 41
Stores Expected to Open in 2012 (across N. America): 9
Expected Growth in 5 years: 100+ stores
Product highlights: Quality health food and nutritional products – Pet food sold at Pet Planet is dense in nutrients & will save the consumer money
Franchisee opportunities: Pet Planet offers franchising opportunities as an enriching and successful business model, devoted to pet health and welfare.

Those interested can start the franchise qualification process today by visiting:

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Emily Bond
Pet Planet
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