Summer 2012
Animal Planet By Sue Marquette Poremba

Paws for Celebration

Did you know? U.S. pet industry sales totaled $56.67 billion in 2011, an increase of $2 billion from 2010. The numbers are expected to grow.

Source: Packaged Facts

Pet Parties

Many retailers hold special events, giving pet owners a chance to show off their pet (maybe in its fancy clothes and collars). PupLife, for example hosted a Spring Dog Photo Festival, where customers sent in photos of their dogs. The photos were then posted on Facebook and on the store’s blog.

“It was a lot of fun, so we will definitely do a Summer Dog Photo Festival too. People love sharing photos of their pets. We’re exploring ways to make that an even bigger part of PupLife.com,” says CEO, Leslie Hayes-Houtkooper.

K9 Scrub Club holds a number of special events every month that encourage pet owners to socialize with each other. An added bonus is that the events bring customers to the boutique to check out the merchandise. Some of the events include secret sales, where customers don’t know what is on sale until they show up at the store that day, and K9 Club Nights, where human and pets enjoy a nightclub-type night out with refreshments, music, and merchandise discounts. “The events change monthly,” says owner Steve Davis. Retailer Megan Farrar Beauchamp, the co-owner of Magpies on Sweetwater in Sugar Land, TX, says the store dog, Pearl, has been a great hit with customers and in marketing promotions. “She has been with us for five years and has made such a fun addition to our store. Sometimes customers just come in to see Pearl,” Beauchamp says. Pearl has been featured in an advertisement the store did for a local high school football program, and also as part of a special event, “the dog days of summer,” where all sales associates brought their doggies in.

Sue Marquette Poremba

Sue Marquette Poremba is a freelance writer based in State College, PA. She specializes in technology, engineering, energy, and IT security topics. She has also published over a dozen essays and is the author of a book about the Philadelphia Phillies.




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