Monrovia, CA (PRWEB) September 24, 2012
With a record-breaking number of participants flooding the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, SuperZoo was a true reflection of the growing pet industry it serves. For four consecutive years, the event has increased in size and scope, this year hosting 871 exhibiting companies in 160,000 net square feet of sold out exhibit space. Attendance also increased 12 percent over the 2011 event and participants hailed from 53 countries including Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. "We are thrilled with the continued success of the show—especially in terms of the quality of buyers present," said Doug Poindexter, World Pet Association President. "This is a testament to the strength and vitality of the pet industry in North America."
The quality of the buyers was a common theme among exhibitors who attended the event, Sept. 11-13, 2012. Many exhibitors stated that this was the best SuperZoo yet for attracting nationwide stores with considerable purchasing power. According to Greg Wheeler, Managing Partner of CleanTraks, LLC, “We’re seeing big buyers, big chains, buyers from overseas—it’s been great.” Buyers represented every segment of the market—from big box and Internet retailers to distributors, independent retailers and everything in between.
Buyers toured the colorful SuperZoo neighborhoods looking for the fresh ideas, new products and bestsellers to stock their shelves. The New Product Showcase made finding the latest products effortless and even allowed participants to vote for the best product of the year. On Sept. 11, SuperZoo awarded the “Best New Products of 2012” in nine categories—plus Best in Show.
Overall Best in Show:
1. A & E Cage Company – Java Wood Bird Toys
2. Lucky Litter dba Brilliant Pet – FroliCat FLIK
3. Angels’ Eyes – Angels’ Eyes Shampoo
1. Classic Paws/Aquatica Gallery – Magic Globe Aquarium
2. Central Garden & Pet Company – Aqueon Evolve Aquarium Kit
3. BioBubble Pets – BioBubble Premium
1. A & E Cage Company – Java Wood Bird Toys
2. Caitec Corporation – Mastermind Foraging Devices
3. Caitec Corporation – The Percher
1. Lucky Litter dba Brillant Pet – FroliCat Flik
2. Lucky Litter dba Brillant Pet – FroliCat DART DUO
3. Lucky Litter dba Brillant Pet – FroliCat Pounce
1. DOG for DOG – DOGSBUTTER
2. dogPACER – mini PACER
3. All Paw Pet Products LLC – Poogo Stick
1. Perri’s Leather – Clever Canine Collection
1. Angels’ Eyes – Angels’ Eyes Shampoo
2. Envirogroom – Envirogroom Natural Shampoos
3. Best Shot Pet Products – ONE SHOT Maximum Strength
1. Critter Zone by Air Restore – Critter Zone by Air Restore
2. Critter Zone by Air Restore – Critter Zone by Air Restore
1. BioBubble Pets – BioBubble Terra
2. A & E Cage Company – Reptile Javarium
3. Fibercore – Eco-Bedding
1. BioBubble Pets – WonderBubble
2. Lixit Corporation – Rabbi Feeder/Water Fount
3. D.B.A., Comfort Urns – Pet memorial Urns
Just as exciting as the business conducted between pet retailers and suppliers at SuperZoo were the educational opportunities presented. Several sessions were sold out, including Business Reinvention: The New Normal on Main Street & Every Street and Beyond Facebook. One of the featured topics at this year’s conference was The Destination Business, presented by special guest instructor Jon Schallert of the Schallert Group. Schallert walked attendees through his 14-step strategy to transform businesses from a ‘store’ to an ‘experience.’ “To look at the audience and see a room completely full was outstanding,” commented Debra Spaulding, World Pet Association (WPA) conference coordinator. “It’s our main priority to provide attendees with top-notch education that will help them improve their retail businesses in meaningful, measurable ways. This year we accomplished just that.”
The Groomer SuperShow was also creating buzz with new grooming products in Groomer’s Court, expert training in the seminar program and a series of international grooming competitions, which adorned the show floor with masterfully groomed dogs. The winners were announced and awarded trophies, plaques and more than $45,000 in prize money. Irina Pinkusevich from Florida took home the Tom McLaughlin Super Jackpot Title and $10,000—the largest one-time purse in the industry. The full list of winners can be viewed here.
The pets weren’t the only stars on the show floor. Holly Madison from Lucky Pet Products, Corbin Maxey from Pet Carousel, as well as Jose Conseco and Steve Garvey from Natural Balance made appearances. On stage at the House of Blues, attendees were treated to a Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo concert on opening day. The concert was sponsored by P&G Pet Care, with all proceeds going to the Pets in the Classroom program.
On Sept. 11, our very own WPA celebrity, Paul Jolly, was presented with the Jiro Matsui Award. Deemed the organization’s highest honor, the Matsui Award is named after former board president Jiro Matsui, and honors lifetime contributions to the pet industry. Vice President for Petco Animal Supplies, Executive Director for the Petco Foundation and co-founder of PAWS LA, Jolly has devoted his life to saving and enhancing the lives of companion animals. Through his work with the Foundation alone, nearly 5 million animals have found homes though adoptions at Petco stores and millions more through their rescues and shelters.
In 2013, SuperZoo will return to the Mandalay Bay with new July dates (July 23-25, 2013) to better align with buying cycles and new product launches. For more information, photos, interviews and more, contact Jacquelyn Clair-Wells at jacquelyn (at) marketingdesigngroup (dot) com.