News Industry Profile 3p Enterprise



Industry Profile: 3P Enterprise
15th November 2017

By Sandra Pearce

Sometimes life can seem very complicated, but at 3P Enterprise, it’s all about making life simpler for pets and their owners. Every product it sells contributes in some way to fostering and enhancing the pet-human bond, says owner Grantley Rogers

The 3P team, from left: Grantley, Beth, Guy, Chris, Pauline and Scott

Most products sold at 3P Enterprise have a story to tell, says managing director Grantley Rogers. “Most products we have either fill a need, solve a problem or present a solution for a problem,” he explained,
saying that 3P is focused on improving the health and well-being of pets and their owners, and aims to simplify pet ownership. “We ensure that products we sell have to fit that mantra. Yes, it’s quite a broad definition, but that means we can look at anything that can help improve their health.”

This could be anything from ergonomically designed food bowls or water towers to travel accessories and in-car products, which can include car-seat and boot protectors or ramps so dogs with mobility issues find it easier to get into cars. “If products help improve or simplify ownership of pets, we will offer it,” he reiterated.

Often, this means niche, quirky products, such as Petmate’s Igloo dog kennel – a kennel in the shape of an igloo. It’s fully insulated and has a porch area which allows the dog a greater area to sleep in, while its shape facilitates greater circulation, remaining warm in winter and cool in summer. “We sold it almost from day one,” he said, “and it’s still selling well today. It’s a great product, quite unusual in style and shape, just that little bit quirky and a perfect fit for us.”

The Igloo dog kennel is fun, quirky yet functional – it’s fully insulated while its shape facilitates circulation, remaining warm in winter and cool in summer

It was in 2002 that Grantley started Pet Play Pads, a business that manufactured wooden play houses, cages and cat houses, and sold online. Within three years, Pet Play Pads was sourcing products from other manufacturers to add to its list. Eventually Grantley stopped the manufacture of wooden products and he took on the Petmate brand from Doskocil in the US – this took off, and when the UK distributor gave it up, Grantley took on its distributorship. This was about the time Pet Play Pads started as a wholesaler, and by 2007, the company’s legal status changed from sole trader to limited company and 3P Enterprise saw light of day. “It was really more a change of legal status,” said Grantley. “We continued with Petmate, which does really well, and we have since added other brands.”

A key milestone moment came in 2010, when 3P Enterprise began to source its own-label products from China. Today, the company has an impressive list of 600 skus including Petmate, Aspen Pet and Fat Cat. “We are fortunate that we have quite a few products and that we can source from the US,” he said. “The whole industry is fast moving, but opportunities are everywhere.”

Opening new doors
“I have a product design background,” said Grantley. “I used to work in toys and games – it was like kindergarten for six to seven years! I then wanted a change and worked in automotive for about three years.

The Elevated Dog Bed made its Interzoo debut last year

“You know, toys and games are not dissimilar to the pet industry. Many of its products are not essential purchases, but are made out of emotion. This business tends to be fairly recession-proof; people spend on their pets and kids even if they don’t on themselves.”

This design background paved the way for the Henry Wag brand, which was launched in 2013 with the Henry Wag elevated dog bed. But not only did it provide an outlet for Grantley’s creativity, it also meant 3P had a brand it could actively export to other countries. “Henry Wag is all about product innovation,” he said. “We spend a lot of time with people in the trade, talking to them. And people will let slip that they cannot get a particular product any more, or that a product is not so good any more since the manufacturer changed it. From these conversations, we get ideas. We also watch New Product Development and pricing and look for gaps in the market.”

Henry Wag has since been rebranded and repackaged and will show off its new look at PATS Telford – the new branding exudes classic styling with a contemporary feel. It will also unveil a number of new products including in-car products such as boot and bumper protectors, a new backseat protector and a microfibre towel and glove.

New packaging gives Henry Wag its distinct identity

As mentioned earlier, Henry Wag aims to fill gaps in its range for the UK market as well as moving outside the UK – an option not previously possible with its other brands from Petmate, which already has distributors in other countries.

Last year, 3P made its debut at Interzoo with five products from Henry Wag: the Elevated Dog Bed, the Pet Cool Mat, the Lightweight Folding Dog Ramp, In-Car Pet Booster Seat and the Boot and Bumper Protector.

Following the German trade show, Henry Wag has picked up distributors in the Netherlands, Ireland and Malta. Grantley says they are definitely going to Interzoo again next year, targeting the Scandinavian countries and Eastern Europe. “Finding the right partner is key, but with our new branding and packaging, we are ready,” he said.

Henry Wag products fill a distinct need

All the foundation blocks are in place for expansion, he said. 3P Enterprise may be a small family business (wife Beth helps run it), but it has recently recruited a new office administrator and sales rep. Being small means 3P is more agile and flexible, and can respond faster to market demands and trends, he said. With three young daughters aged 8, 10 and 12, Grantley and Beth try and make their weekends sacred and do things as a family. “The girls are very active in terms of school and after-school activities, so either myself or Beth are driving them around!”

A solution for tight spaces
The work-home life balance may be one challenge, but another of 3P’s challenges is that its products do not have mainstream mass-market appeal. Yet Grantley says he and his team remain committed to sourcing these unique products you cannot find elsewhere, which offer health or wellbeing usps and good margins. “Retailers think customers won’t buy these products, that they’re too expensive…but
customers will buy them and do buy them – we know it. It’s about convincing retailers to give it a go.”
Many of its products are on the bulky side, which can cause issues for space-strapped retailers. But Grantley has the solution: “We can drop ship for retailers, and we can offer a next-day service and ship direct to customers. Drop shipping is actually quite a significant chunk of our business. Just remember, the products we initially sold as Pet Play Pads were for online sales. Their nature was that they were niche and not found in store, often being bulky and big.

“Drop shipping is a service which opens the door for retailers to list products that they would not otherwise be able to stock. It makes sense. It used to have a dirty name because it was not properly
managed and those offering it were not offering good service. For us, it works and our customers are happy with the service.”

On the road, this time at an earlier PATS show

Grantley says there are ambitious growth plans in store for both 3P Enterprise and the Henry Wag brand. “It’s all about getting the right team on board,” he said. “We have the right products and the right
pricing. We want to create more demand among consumers and retailers, and we know we have to do more.”

This includes having a marketing consultant look at the company’s online marketing and social media strategy. “It’s all challenging, but so much fun,” he said. “We got where we are with just myself, a couple of people and a small loyal customer base. We want to grow ourselves and to expand our customer base, and that’s the key to us moving forward. We want to spread the word about what we are doing, our ethos, and that if you put our products in front of customers, they will spend on them.”

3P Enterprise has its own warehouse so can fulfill drop-shipping orders quickly