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  • Writer's pictureStacy Wood

Celebrating the Success of Neighborhood Pet Store Day

The first-ever Neighborhood Pet Store Day, held on September 23, 2023, and annually on the fourth Saturday in September, was a tail-wagging triumph! First announced at Global Pet Expo in March, this day celebrates the impact of the neighborhood independent pet stores in our communities.

This annual event was commemorated to showcase these unique local businesses' dedication, passion, and extraordinary customer experience, aptly described as the "Indie Pet Difference."

In this blog, we will delve into the reasons behind the resounding triumph of Neighborhood Pet Store Day, highlighting the amazing things that happened in stores across North America.

Indie Pet Retailers are Members of Your Community

Some of my favorite stories from Neighborhood Pet Store Day were the personal ones told by business owners about where they came from and what makes their shops unique—thanking their customers for their loyalty through the years and expressing how lucky they feel to have such great supporters in their community.

This event was organized to acknowledge these businesses' crucial role in promoting pet wellness, offering quality products, and establishing lasting connections within their communities. Neighborhood Pet Store Day highlights the significance of shopping locally by dedicating a day to celebrating and supporting these businesses. It encourages consumers to choose neighborhood pet stores over big box and online retailers.

It's impossible not to get warm fuzzies from posts like these. They help the viewer understand that these businesses are run by their neighbors and, under everything, they are pet owners and lovers just like them!

Retailers Gave Back to Their Communities

Neighborhood Pet Store Day also allows independent pet retailers to demonstrate their commitment to giving back. During this year's event, stores collected donations for pets and people in need and raised money for their favorite organizations.

Stories like these help build community and strengthen the ties between pets, owners, and local businesses. Forming a network of neighbors where people can support each other—and their pets!

Here are a few examples of how retailers shared charitable happenings in their stores and, in doing so, also gave back to their communities in a big way!

Trendy Content Shared On Social Media

Another crucial aspect of Neighborhood Pet Store Day's success was all the captivating content shared by retailers and consumers on social media.

The event reached a wider audience through engaging content that spread awareness about the independent pet difference. Pet owners, retailers, and animal lovers shared their experiences—and highlighted stores in fun reels and TikToks throughout the day!

This digital interaction amplifies the event's significance and helped to further strengthen the pet-loving community, even beyond the boundaries of local neighborhoods.

Celebratory Sales And One Day Deals

Many of the most popular posts on social media during this time were advertisements offering special sales and one-day-only deals. Neighborhood Pet Store Day officially a pet lovers' new favorite day to save!

Along with support from manufacturers and industry partners, many of whom sponsored the event, retailers offered door-busting deals to help attract customers that Saturday and, in some cases, all weekend long.

The best part, a later report from sponsoring partner Astro Loyalty, showed that sales on their platform for Neighborhood Pet Store Day reached new heights! Even beating out the long-standing American Express holiday, Small Business Saturday AND Black Friday. Wow!

Manufacturers and Industry Partners Showed Their Support

There is no shortage of support in the pet industry for the independent pet community. In fact, manufacturers and industry partners shared their support for this event through event sponsorships, press releases, social media shotouts, before and during the big event.

Taking to their social media channels, sponsors and non-sponsors alike shared stories of how the success and growth of the indie pet channel has helped their businesses thrive and why they believe the indie pet difference truly sets these unique stores apart from other shopping establishments.

Here are a few examples of posts from different manufacturers and industry partner social media channels showing support for local, independent pet businesses and all they do!

Members Used IndiePet Marketing Materials to Promote

Since this event began in the minds of the IndiePet Marketing & Awareness committee, the organization wanted to ensure its retailer members received value above and beyond to commemorate this special day.

To do this, a special marketing asset kit, both digital and printed, was provided for current IndiePet members to promote in their stores. Featuring social media graphics, stickers, posters, and more, this asset kit contained everything a retailer needed to tell their community about Neighborhood Pet Store Day.

If you are not yet a member of IndiePet, that's okay! All independent retailers are welcome to celebrate this event. But if you want access to exclusive marketing materials for next year, now is a great time to join!

Beautiful Signs, Fun Displays, Giftbags, and Special Treats!

Retailers pulled out all the stops to entice and inform consumers to stop by and celebrate this event! Some created beautiful hand-drawn signage; others highlighted their favorite products with eye-catching displays.

Some retailers even prepared gift bags and special handouts for pets who visit with their owners. Many also provided treats for pet owners and their furry friends as they browsed the aisles and celebrated the day!

What’s in Store for 2024

Neighborhood Pet Store Day has proven to be an undeniable success by highlighting the importance of these remarkable local businesses, fostering a connected pet-loving community, expanding its reach through social media, and more!

So now you might be asking, what next? Year after year, this annual event will continue to grow and empower independent pet stores, helping to raise awareness of the indie pet difference and supporting the channel's longevity.

The IndiePet team, many of whom are Indie retailers themselves, will use what they've learned from this year's event to plan a bigger and better version celebrated on September 28, 2024. If you have feedback on this year's event, please take a moment to share your perspective and help us make next year's event even better!

Until then, let's celebrate this year's notable achievements and look forward to more success in future events. Thank you to all retailers, manufacturers, and pet industry partners who helped make this day possible. See you in 2024!

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