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With declining sales and increased competition given as two of the main factors, aquatic retailers, like many businesses, are feeling the impact of the current economic climate. In an interview with Pet Product News International (PPNI) it is revealed that changing market circumstances may help the industry swim upwards in the future.


Scott Nash, CEO of Aquarium Retail Holdings Inc., reported to PPNI, “In the last year, we’ve had an interesting uptick in our business. “I can’t help the sense that there is a resurgence in this hobby, with the additional interest we’ve been seeing.” A niche is developing in the aquatic world towards live fish, Nash revealed.


With big box and Internet competition a primary concern amongst aquatic smaller to medium-sized retailers, views are varied and diverse from those in the industry.


“Some fish retailers want to complain that the Internet is killing them, but they aren’t meeting the needs of what the consumer wants,” stated Patrick Donston, owner of Absolutely Fish in Clifton, New Jersey. “Customers come into the store to buy the livestock, and somebody has to sell the live goods,” said Leroy Dyke, owner of Fish Safari in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “People want to see what they’re buying.”

Experts agree that keeping tanks filled with attractive and saleable fish is key, but the presentation and cleanliness of the display is also crucial. Drawing customer attention means filling aesthetically pleasing displays with attractive fish.


Once customers in the store “take the bait,” incentives such as discounts, promotions, and sales offer variety and further chance of sale conversion. Some stores offer sales, but others invest in their employees and consider a highly trained staff to be a key in making a sale. “I think education is key,” Donston noted. “It’s one of the biggest responsibilities and one of the opportunities independent retailers particularly have.


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