Preuss Pets enjoys stable business despite rising prices

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Preuss Pets still experiences heavy customer demand despite the rise in pet food prices.

Preuss Pets still experiences heavy customer demand despite the rise in pet food prices. Photo Credit: Anya Rath

By Anya Rath Staff Writer

Preuss Pets, located in Old Town, Lansing, hasn’t seen the demand for pet foods drop despite the hike in prices.

The Consumer Price Index, provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that the price of pet food went up 2.6 percent from February 2012 to February 2013.

Wendy Cummings, the dry goods buyer for Preuss Pets, said, “Pricing has gone up. But I don’t think it’s gone up in leaps and bounds where it’s crippling. Dog and cat food has been hit pretty hard, if I had to pick a category. But this store is doing well selling dog and cat food.”

Cummings said that it’s fairly normal for prices for dry goods to go up every year.

“Usually it’s between 1 and 3 percent, sometimes it’s 5 percent,” Cummings said. “Food prices really seem to go up with the average price of fuel. As long as the market for gas is unpredictable, dog and cat food prices will keep going up.”

Cummings added that the rise in prices have affected the prices within the store.

“We try to be as fair as we possibly can. We also check what the websites are selling things for too. Sometimes we can get real close to those prices and sometimes we can’t. We try to stay current with those things,” Cummings said.

However, despite the rise in prices, Preuss Pets has not seen a decline in customers.

“I feel like this store is different from your average pet store,” Cummings said. “What sets us apart from everywhere else are the employees we have here. We really know our animals that we sell in the store. So people shop us for our education and maybe not so much as the price of things. The information they can get from us is priceless.”

Preuss Pets is a specialty pet store that sells a vast variety of different animals. A few examples would be tortoises, ferrets, parrots, snakes and fish.  Additionally, Preuss Pets hosts field trips, seminars and birthday parties.

Kelsey Stevenson, assistant bird room manager at Preuss Pets, said, “I think we’re such a success because we’re so devoted to the community.”

Stevenson said that she hasn’t seen a decrease in customers because of prices. Stevenson attributes this to the fact that Preuss Pets is truly a specialty store.

Eric Hooven, a customer of Preuss Pets, shops at Preuss Pets approximately once a week. He has been a regular customer since February because of a new fish tank he set up.

“They offer a lot of help,” Hooven said. “They have actual veterinarians on staff and I can bring my dog in when I decide to.”

Hooven wouldn’t let a rise in prices affect his decision to shop there, depending on the product. Hooven said that he believes the store has higher quality products.

Hooven said: “I think it’s more old school in terms of their customer service strategy. They make an effort to know you by name which is really different from most other places these days.”

Cummings added, “There’s a lot of good things going on at Preuss’.”

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