Getting better Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Winner
Retail and Consumer Products

Menderes Akdag isn’t the type to achieve success and then rest on his laurels. Instead, the president and CEO of PetMed
Express Inc., which does business as 1-800-PetMeds, an online pet store, is always looking to improve the projects he is working on.

Growing up in Turkey, Akdag found his way to the University of Florida, where he earned a degree in finance. After working a few post-college jobs in the U.S. and Turkey, he joined Lens Express in Deerfield Beach, where he worked his way from CFO to COO in a year.

But he wasn’t satisfied with that level of success and left in 2001 to become CEO of PetMed Express, which was losing money and needed revamping. At the time, the company was primarily a catalog sales business, selling more than 2,500 pet-related products, but Akdag cut that down to 500, focusing on high-dollar and high-margin pet medications while also leading the company into online retail sales.

Because of his expertise in direct response advertising, Akdag reached the right customers and focused on strategies to retain customers, such as reminders to reorder pet medication when supplies should be running out, which led to a high level of customer satisfaction as well as increased repeat sales.

The company has faced opposition by veterinarians who historically controlled pet medication distribution, but strategic relationships and negotiations, pricing and customer service led it to succeed.

Within his first year as CEO, Akdag led the company to positive results for the first time, and it’s still growing. Net sales for the quarter and nine months ending Dec. 31, 2008, were up 16 percent compared to the previous year, and earnings per share for the nine months ending the same date were up 18 percent.

How to reach: 1-800-PetMeds, (800) 738-6337 or www.1800petmeds.com