Make veterinary retail worth your while

Be strategic when you implement retail, or else you'll lose money instead of making it.
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Jan 09, 2014
By dvm360.com staff

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The profitability of retail in veterinary hospitals is always in question. While there are several potential benefits, retail also requires a great deal of money and effort on your part. The key is to figure out the plan that works best for your practice.

Click next to see some examples of retail done right.

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"The most economical way to start retail is to find eight feet of open wall space, negotiate with a prescription or specialty diet manufacturer, and let them supply the display shelving and product," says BDA Architecture founder Wayne Usiak, AIA. "It takes no up-front investment other than the space and manpower to maintain it."

Usiak also suggests locating retail near the front desk, as clients are more likely to stop by when they're checking out after an appointment.

Capital Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas, has a retail display located right in the reception area for convenience.

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Sometimes, however, a separate room is better, as clients may get distracted by the display and hold up appointments.

All Pets Animal Hospital in Katy, Texas, has a designated room for retail with a locked inventory manager's room in the back and to the left.

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Whatever you decide to do, consider the pet retailers around your practice before taking the plunge. The fewer there are in your area, the more likely your retail space will pay off.