There seems to be no end in sight for the pet industry’s rapid growth. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), revenue in the pet industry was expected to reach $69 billion in 2017 after hitting $66 billion in the previous year. Pet ownership continues to rise and consumers are treating their companions to all that is available to them. Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bakery is one franchise that is jumping on board that trend and helping consumers treat and care for their pets all in one location.
Deemed “One Cool Place,” Wag N’ Wash offers products and services in three categories; wash ‘em, feed ‘em and spoil ‘em. With full service grooming, a self-wash option, nutritional natural pet food options, and plenty of products to keep your pet satisfied, the brand is becoming a one-stop shop for many pet owners. In 2017, the brand opened four new stores and currently has plans to do the same this year, hitting its goal of 20 open locations. The brand started to focus on franchising in 2013 when founders, Dan Remus and Jeff Strauss, wanted to grow brand through that model to be able to share the joy of working with pet companions with others.
This year, the brand is focusing in on one thing to improve their success. President Robert Flanagan says, “The main focus is how do we drive profitability at the unit level and all of our strategic initiatives right now are aimed at improving that. Whether its franchise support, improving our training programs or enhancing our marketing programs. The focus is on how many open and profitable franchises we have.”
The brand isn’t limiting itself to certain markets and is hoping to open locations anywhere it makes sense to open with the right partners.
“We are definitely interested in growing in any geographic area that fits our profile. With that being said, our business model is really about passion for companion animals and you can find those people anywhere. We do look for people with a retail and business background because it’s more than having love for animals, the reality is it’s running a business every day,” said Flanagan. “Many of our franchisees are burnt out on corporate America and they are ready to take that leap into owning their own business and manifesting their own destiny.”
Bill Wolfe loved the brand so much from being a customer in Phoenix, that when he moved to Seattle, he wanted to open his own Wag N’ Wash. Being in such a dog-friendly city, it seemed to make a lot of sense as he was looking to change his career path.
“Seattle is such a dog-friendly city and there are stats that say there are more dogs than there are kids so it seemed like a good fit. We actually saw a space in our neighborhood that we thought was perfect for Wag N’ Wash and started to look into the opportunity,” said Wolfe.
But he admits it’s much different than his old 9-5 gig and franchisees should be aware of that before signing on. After just 10 months, Wolfe has already seen success as they continue to hit sales goals and were recently named a finalist for Best New Business of the Year from the Greater Seattle Business Association.
With the franchising model, Wolfe saw that Wag N’ Wash was able to create buying power to get receive great prices from distributors. He also enjoys the fact that customers can interact with owners of the business instead of managers, which they have found at other competitor stores. Their customers are their neighbors and they enjoy serving the community.
What also makes Wag N’ Wash a unique investment opportunity is its various revenue streams. Flanagan explains, “We have four revenue streams for pet retail, all natural pet food, grooming and self-wash and an in-house bakery for dog treats and dog cakes.”
Serving as a convenient place to go for customers increases chances for revenue for franchisees. Wolfe says, “It’s that one-stop shop and convenience that sets us apart. I could wash my own dog, get food and toys and I don’t have to go to three different locations.”
In the end, it’s an opportunity many are considering for an enjoyable lifestyle spent with their animal companions, which makes it a franchise opportunity and brand to watch out for in the coming years.
“It’s about the joy of not spending your time in front of a computer and spending your day surrounded by animals and knowing that you’re making a difference in their lives,” said Flanagan.