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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Oct. 26, 2012, 4:00 p.m. EDT

Conjuring Halloween Fun in Your Store

By Julie Jacobs


Ahhh, the beginning of the holiday season is upon us. And there is no better way to kick it off than with some spooky Halloween fun.

Here are some tips for hosting a Halloween event in your pet store. If you have a website, host an event somewhere in your community, such as a local dog park.

Get guests into the holiday spirit with cheap and easy Halloween displays. Decorate with pumpkins—both real and sellable toys— and scarecrows (I just bought several for just $1 each at the local Dollar Store). Buy witches cauldrons to fill with water for the pets in attendance and label it “Witchy Brew.” Fill a skeleton head or pumpkin bowl with dog treats.

During the event, hold play times during which attendees and their furry counterparts can play with holiday-themed toys, such as a stuffed pumpkin or apple.

Halloween festivities
Set up a little kiosk with discounted Halloween items, especially if the event is not hosted inside your own store. This is a great way to sell a few more of your items while everyone is in the holiday spirit. 

Host a pet costume contest. You can offer coupons for store merchandise as prizes. I suggest a 25-percent off coupon for the third place winner, a 50-percent off coupon for the second place winner and one free holiday item for the first place winner. You may want to break the contest down into two categories: small dogs and big dogs. You may also want to try a scary costumes category, dog and children teams, or even an adult group. This way everyone gets to participate.

Prior to the contest, run a special sale on pet costumes for those who sign up to enter. This will encourage more people to participate and allow you to capitalize on some added business. To draw even more participants, permit attendees to sign-up at the event and offer late-entrants costumes at 25-percent or 50-percent off.

Recruit a few of the local children to serve as judges. You can reward them with a treat or some cute, inexpensive Halloween token (again, think Dollar Store). You can even give them an official judge T-shirt, hat or pin, so they feel important.

Don’t forget the rest of the children and the big kids/adults—have plenty of treats for them to nibble on, too. Remember: Halloween is all about fun at any age. You might want to make little Trick-or-Treat bags for both your two- and four-legged guests to take home and enjoy later. Make sure to remind your customers to be extra cautious about keeping the human treats, especially chocolate, far out of the reach from their pups. This is also a great time to educate your customers about keeping the family pets in secure areas on Halloween so they don’t sneak out while their humans (especially young children) are busy opening doors and distributing candy. A little Halloween Puppy 101 will go a long way for the safety of their pets.

Have a spook-tacular time and enjoy the fun. As always, you can reach me at

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