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Dog Contest Makes Waves

If you’ve started planning your summer promotions while business is slower through the winter months, take a cue from Klem’s in Spencer, Massachusetts.

Dogs rule the pool at Klem’s for one weekend in the summer. That weekend is when the store hosts the Dock Dogs event. Dogs—and their owners—from all over the community are invited to the store, where a pool and dock are set up in the field next door. Dogs compete in long jump and high jump contests, where they run off the dock and jump into the water, as well as in-pool retrieval contests.

The event was open to customers and their dogs, as well as anyone else in the community who wanted to bring their dogs to participate, or even just stop by and visit.

“It’s a lot of fun—the dogs love it, and their owners have a great time,” says Jessica Bettencourt, president of Klem’s. “It’s a fun, free event for our customers and those in our community.”

In 2014, the staff held the event in July at the store. Klem’s teamed up with other local businesses and raffled off prizes, including the grand prize of a year’s worth of dog food from the store. There were also other small contests for the dogs, such as a peanut butter eating contest.

Klem’s hosts several events, including other pet-specific events, throughout the year.

“We have a big pet category with quite a few products,” Bettencourt says. “Pet supplies is probably 10 to 15 percent of our total sales, so it’s a big category for us.”

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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