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New research reveals the appeal of a shop dog

New consumer research by Metro Bank has revealed how a canine shop assistant could be a best friend to a small business and is now showcasing some of the nation’s favourite shop dogs and their stories.

Nearly half of UK adults (47%) admit they have specifically gone into a shop because of the friendly face and waggy tail welcome of a shop dog.

In fact, 50% have purposefully gone out of their way and completely changed their route just so they can visit their local shop dog.

Shop dogs can help foster new relationships and bring a sense of community highlighted by just over four in five (81%) respondents having returned to a shop to see a dog again. Over half (53%) of those surveyed also said being able to bring their own dog into a shop on the high street impacts their decision to go in.

Just under four in five (79%) admitted to spending more money in a shop that has a shop dog than they would have done if there wasn’t a shop dog.

The research also reveals 80% of the public spend longer inside shops with a dog, meaning extended shopping time and also a chance to get to know their local shopkeepers. Having a pooch around also seems to be a great way of recruiting new customers, with 41% of shoppers likely to recommend a shop to a friend because of a dog.

Since the pandemic started, community has never been so important and dogs have always helped bring people together. In fact, 56% think that shop dogs create a stronger sense of community and friendliness in shops, and 42% believe shops dogs are important to the local economy.

James Patch, Co-Founder/Director of Coopers Roastery & Coffee Bar in Buckinghamshire comments on the value his dog, Cooper, has bought to his business: “Cooper is an integral part of this business. People visit and spend more time here because of him. I think he gives the place, along with the staff and other customers, a certain ambience. It makes the shop feel very welcoming and homely.”

Suzanne O’Leary, Owner/Director of Little Beach Boutique in Brighton comments on the difference her dog Bertie has made to her shop and her customers:”He is certainly a conversation starter, and encourages customers to stay for longer just to have a chat about how awesome dogs are.”

Jessica Myers, Brand and Marketing Director from Metro Bank, adds:”After a difficult period for many retailers and small businesses, attracting customers back in-store is a huge challenge, but a shop dog could be the secret weapon to recovery. Dogs are proven to relieve stress, relax people and make a great talking point to break the ice with customers. For people who live alone or who are unable to keep a pet, they bring a bit of joy to the daily routine. Moreover, millions of dog owners are more likely to visit a business that allows their four-legged friend inside.”

Metro Bank welcomes dogs into all of its sites across the UK, and offers free dog biscuits, branded bandannas and water bowls too.

Image from Pixabay

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