German family business Hunter International specializes in the manufacture of high-quality supplies for dogs and cats. Today, there are thirteen Hunter brand stores worldwide.
Introducing brand stores
With their brand stores, Hunter wants to create a unique shopping experience for their customers. The stores allow them to communicate their brand image, vision and philosophy in an ideal way. Through this concept, the company generates brand recognition and awakens the strong desire to take part in the Hunter success story, both among customers and retailers.
All the international Hunter brand stores are run by Hunter’s own clients. Their strength lies in the strong global connection between the owners and the company; they form one big global Hunter family. The brand stores profit from Hunter’s years of experience in the industry and receive every possible support with regard to market and portfolio data, product presentation know-how, marketing activities and more. Also, if there is a certain market demand for a specialized product, Hunter can develop or provide the needed product. It is a constant process of improvement and proves very beneficial for both sides.
Hunter’s partners and retail chains play an important role in its strategy, especially when entering foreign markets. The company’s brand store strategy provides a two-way market approach. With the brand store concept, it strengthens its brand recognition and shows the market that Hunter is a premium-quality partner in the industry, as well as that relying on the full Hunter product range is a real success story.
This way the company generates both a great shopping experience for, and a high market demand from consumers, as well as prompts retailers to add Hunter products to their range or even implement a shop-in-shop (SiS) system in their own stores. This synergy benefits both Hunter and its local partner with regard to their retail activities.
Consequently, the rising number of brand stores goes hand in hand with an ever-increasing number of implemented shop-in-shop solutions at retailers. The set-up of the largest Hunter SiS in Trondheim Norway (170 sqm) impressively underlines this development.
The online market is a strong, growing market. Hunter products are nevertheless also about look and feel. A brand store, with its design elements, the ability to feel the quality and being able to try out the product range, aims at this special emotional side to shopping. In a brand store customers share a unique shopping emotion and maximum brand recognition.
Brand stores in the pet industry
For the pet industry, it is important to see that brand stores and SiS solutions specialized in high-quality products are a successful concept, even though in most countries a tough competition and price market is predominant. This concept is a trend towards special shopping experiences and a possibility to set oneself apart from competition. Brand recognition and demand is key here. With a brand store, products are displayed in a perfect way at high-frequented locations.
Other markets have shown that this is an important factor. Think of furniture stores with specialized ‘monobrand’ retail areas or consumer electronics like the Apple store and its SiS solutions. The same trend applies to the pet market. To be able to compete with online businesses, you need to provide a unique shopping experience. While trying to compete with online prices is not the solution, providing the customer with special emotional experiences while shopping is.
Hunter sees two developments in the industry: a shift towards online business, as well as a higher degree of specialization in retail stores. Specialized trade will remain an important factor in the industry. Consequently however the industry will shift to a more emotional and individual shopping experience for customers. And that is where the brand stores and SiS solutions for retailers come into play.
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