Saturday, October 11, 2008

Visiting a supersized pet supply store

Today I had to stop by at the local supermarket kind of pet store, I needed something urgently and didn’t have it in stock myself. Anyway, the good thing about that store is that well behaved dogs are allowed to come inside the store, so I took Roxy along with me (Camouflage is everything). Boy oh boy, when we got there they must have just received two semi truck loads of dry food. It was piled up all over the store up to the sealing, you hardly could find your way around and see any of the (few) other items they have. It was like the battle between the female TV chef and the scientists who also make a pet diet. I wonder who’s going to win this one, the female chef lately seems to have her “super premium” food in any place just remotely connected to pets. By the way, some day someone has explain the definition of “super premium” to me, because I did indeed now look at the ingredient panel and nothing on it appears to be super, except they mention a “lot of her love” as a nutrient. Hope that satisfies a dog’s appetite.
Well, we didn’t find what we were looking for. Asking the store clerks didn’t help either, they didn’t even know what I was talking about. But maybe that was because they really were busy discussing their weekend plans among themselves.
Before taking off, we stopped by at the treat corner. They now even carry Red Barn treats. I’m telling you, it is the original ones, not the knock off Red Barn brand you find at the grocery market. No, these ones are authentic, I know, because they have the banderole. But we ended up not buying any. Why pay more than twice as much as I pay at our own store. And I am talking retail, not wholesale price. On our way out we grabbed a brochure on healthy pet feeding. In it they told us that there are two kinds of food, premium and non-premium and that puppies have different nutritional needs than adult and overweight dogs. All of this without much of further explanation.
So why am I telling you all this? The concept of pet super markets doesn’t sound to be such a smart deal for the consumer after all. Think about it: The food and the treats you buy there are mostly not of the greatest quality and many certainly don’t deserve a classification as being really healthy. The high quality items they carry are outrageously overpriced. This is by the way similar to what I see at the supersized on-line stores as well. Customer service leaves a lot of questions unanswered and if you are looking for educational and professional background support, you are on your own.

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