No, it doesn’t sell shoes for chimps. But Coachella, CA-based Chimpfeet does sell an array of gifts for dogs, cats, and other pets, as well as for the people who love them. Having launched online in July, the company this month mailed its first print catalog.
The 32-page Chimpfeet catalog, which sells items such as licensed sports jerseys for dogs, cat-themed designer clocks, and pet-related jewelry, initially dropped to 50,000 rented and house file names, says sales and marketing director Nicky Homer. She cofounded the business with her husband, Tim, who serves as CEO.
“People are Internet savvy, and people are confident when they buy online,” Homer says. “But people still like to have a catalog, and we can use it to drive Web sales.”
The Homers, who moved to the United States from the United Kingdom last year, had previously owned Exhilaration, an online seller of experiential gifts such as flying and driving activities. They sold that company to Lastminute.com in 2002.
They began developing Chimpfeet.com this past January to take advantage of growth in the pet supplies and accessories industry. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, sales within the sector will hit $38.4 billion this year.
Chimpfeet plans to release two or three catalogs a year. The next catalog is planned for spring 2007.
“The exposure on the Internet has been costly and time-consuming. By the time all the SEO kicks in, you’ve invested a lot of time and money,” Nicky Homer says. “This catalog is a reaction to that exposure as well.”
And about the name: According to the Website, “Chimpfeet” is a nickname that Tim Homer gave Nicky.