Download: An Austrian tradition (PDF file)Johann Muser has been active in the pet supplies business for over 30 years. The experienced pet product dealer explains his success in running an independent pet store for 22 years and being able to expand it over the years to a retail area of 2 000 m² as follows: "I offer the best price in town in nearly all segments and probably stock the biggest range of premium products in Austria." Many well-known brands such as Vitakraft and Mars Pet Care are offered for sale at Zoo-Muser in the form of shop-in-shop systems. Several smaller brands are stocked too, including Austrian specialities.Strength in autonomyThe entrepreneur has never called the independence of his pet supplies business into question. Johann Muser is sure that, when it comes to purchasing terms, range formation and advertising in particular, he would not gain any advantages over his present situation if he were to join a chain or a buying syndicate.His customers come primarily from the northern suburbs and outskirts of Graz and from the north of the Austrian state of Styria. His stock has increased with the clientele over the years and has been adapted increasingly to their requirements. Up to the present day Johann Muser has always attached great importance to the product mix and the flexibility to be able to procure quickly even those products not stocked as standard.16 years ago, the proprietor's son Christian Muser opened a second Muser pet store in Leibnitz, 40 km away from Graz. This store, too, has rapidly developed into a runaway success in the region, and its retail area has been extended repeatedly until it now covers an impressive 2 000 m². Here too customers will find the biggest selection of brands and best prices in the region. The customers are drawn from the southern fringes of Graz and the many municipalities around Leibnitz. The latest highlight in the development of the Leibnitz store was its move on 24 November to 2 000 m² premises in the Gralla district, close to the motorway exit for Leibnitz and in the centre of a major retail park.Regional competitionCompetition is becoming fiercer in Graz, since the city was recently "discovered" by rival large-format pet stores. However, Johann Muser is unperturbed by the opening of a Zoo & Co. store on the other side of the city and the news that a Megazoo outlet is also to open in the south of the city. The veteran retailer is soon to hand over control of his pet stores to his son.