Dave Ratner

Dave Ratner

Expert in Retail and Creative Ways to Build Good Business
Fee Range
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Program Descriptions

  • How to Compete with the Big Guys!
  • How to Get and Keep Customers without Spending a Fortune!


Biography Read more

For more than 4 decades, Dave Ratner has been building an independent, critically and commercially acclaimed pet supply business. With seven Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores, and a nationally marketed line of high-quality pet food for dogs and cats, Dave has earned a seat at the table on the National Retail Federation Board of Directors. He also sits on the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association Board of Directors, the only small business owner representing the independent retailer alongside the VPs of Marketing for Home Depot, Walgreens, and Target. As he puts it, “It’s all these big dogs — and me!”

Dave has represented the voice of small business owners before both houses of Congress and continues to work to elevate the retail industry.

Despite a myriad of top competitors, Dave built a business with fanatical customer loyalty and employees who have been with him forever. He is known for creative and cost-effective marketing strategies that have allowed him to compete with large national chain stores and win.

He’s a working retailer, with 150 employees, who deals with customers on a daily basis. He is “one of you”:

  • Understanding the challenges of finding, hiring, and keeping quality employees.
  • Understanding the challenges of marketing on a tiny budget.
  • Understanding the how hard it is to make your store “the chosen one.”
  • Understanding the challenges of implementing the great ideas the because you are the “fire chief”.

    Dave won’t just tell you what to do, he’ll share how to make your life easier and your business more successful.

    Dave’s career spans a humble start in an abandoned gas station selling soda, to an enviable independent retail business which earned him the National Retail Federation Silver Award 2010 in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Retail Industry and induction into the Massachusetts Retail Hall of Fame.

    Dave’s expertise has earned him a place in the media as well. For 18 seasons he has hosted a weekly local ABC and Fox television show focused on caring for pets, while his business savvy and marketing genius regularly land him on the pages of The Wall Street Journal, Pet Age, and countless Associated Press stories.

    Dave is passionate about sharing his strategies with small business and retail owners and managers. His book Customer Love: Make Your Customers Love You So Much They’ll Never Go Anyplace Else! has been called, “a must read book for insights into the strategy, creativity, and challenges in developing and sustaining a successful business.”

    Dave Ratner received the Silver Award from the National Retail Federation and was named to the Massachusetts Retail Hall of Fame.

    As a motivational business speaker Dave delivers common-sense, forehead-slapping insights on management, sales, marketing, customer service and customer loyalty in engaging and laughter filled keynotes and trainings.
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    "Should you hire Dave to speak to your group? All I can say is we have asked him to present at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York for an unprecedented 4th consecutive year. Audiences love him!"

    "Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater SpringfieldDave spoke at the chamber annual meeting last year. They loved him. He is funny, inspiring and full of common sense ideas that every can use. It just dawned on me… he got a rousing standing ovation. I can’t remember the last time that happened."
    --Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield

    "Mayer Bros. Apple Products, Inc.Dave Ratner is one of the most entertaining and informative speakers I have ever heard. His no-nonsense, no-notes, extemporaneous delivery made his message very believable and sincere. Dave’s marketing ideas hit home through his humor and honesty. His lecture commanded the largest audience with the most post questions and answers. You don’t fall asleep with this guy!"
    --Mayer Bros Apple Products, Inc.

    "Pet Industry Distributors AssociationYour topics are spot on. Part of what makes you such an effective presenter is that you live what you discuss. Plus the mustache—at least half the audience shows up just to see if it’s really a hamster."
    --Pet Industry Distributors Association