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In the Bloom with Maria: Consider letting customers bring along a shopping assistant—their pet.

In The Bloom with MarinaWith stores, coffee shops, and restaurants opening their doors and patios to dogs, you may be considering doing the same at your floral shop to bring in more foot traffic  this spring. Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd learned of one store that’s letting in four-legged friends to help with the shopping process.

In her article “Let your business go to the dogs,” featured in the September 13, 2017, SAF E-brief, Mary Westbrook showcased Stein Your Florist Company, which operates stores in Philadelphia and Burlington, New Jersey. Both locations feature pet-friendly policies.

The 130-year-old family business makes sure there are plenty of dog treats and bowls of water near the door. They’ve found it’s gone a long way towards impressing customers who consider their pets family. In fact, owners say allowing customers to bring their dogs into the shop has had a number of positive effects, including:

  • Increasing foot traffic
  • Helping customers with support during difficult times like funeral planning
  • Boosting staff morale

But before you open your shop’s doors to canine companions, you’ll have to do some homework. Each state has different levels of laws when it comes to allowing pets in businesses—particularly if food is served. You’ll also want to check if your city has any ordinances regarding pets in businesses. In addition, consider planning policies on how to deal with aggressive dogs, owners that may not use a leash, and customers that may be fearful of dogs. Of course, talk with your Hortica agent for possible liability issues resulting from going pet friendly. We’re here to help.

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For more information on protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.

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