PetSmart Steals the Halloween Scene

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PetSmart Steals the Halloween Scene

By Samantha Nelson - 10/30/2017

PetSmart took a page from Petco's playbook this Halloween by running a "Spooky Halloween" photo contest that mirrored its chief rival's annual "Make a Scene" contest.

Consumers entered the contest on a promotional web page from Oct. 13-28 by uploading a picture of their costumed pet as part of a scary scene. The grand-prize winner received 12 bags of private-label Authority cat or dog food and a basket of toys from seasonal private label Thrills & Chills. Four runners-up won a $100 store gift card. A panel of judges choose the winners. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updates promoted the sweeps.

PetSmart also enlisted celebrity pets to show off its costume selection. The retailer hosted an event in New York on Sept. 21 for pets from popular Instagram accounts including @oscarfrenchienyc, @tinkerbellethedog and @puppynamedcharlie, and has been sharing a steady stream of photos from the party on its own Instagram account and through sponsored posts from the participants.

In stores, gondolas, dump racks and endcaps merchandise Thrills & Chills costumes, toys and cat beds, while treats from the line are stocked alongside national brands including Mars Petcare's Greenies and Tyson Pet Products' True Chews on pallet displays employing a "no tricks, just treats" message. Elsewhere, endcaps merchandise seasonal aquarium decor from private label Top Fin. Themed floorstands from Mars' Dentastix add to the atmosphere.

Additional events and promotions drove shoppers to stores. An Oct. 26 Howl O' Ween event at the retailer's Doggie Day Camp program included a digital photo and a pumpkin treat from Kong Co. Shoppers could get a photo with the retailer's mascot, Chance, in stores on Oct. 21 and 28. Attendees also received a free pet collar safety light, coupons for Halloween treats and apparel, and a flyer with Halloween safety tips. The retailer used its text alert program to promote the event.

Other seasonal deals include $5 off a future service with the purchase of any Halloween treat, costume or toy in stores through Oct. 31, and a free toy box from private label Top Paw for PetPerks loyalty cardholders who purchase $20 worth of pet toys in stores from Oct. 2-29. Circular features plug both promotions.

PetSmart also encouraged e-commerce purchases with email blasts and home page carousel ads on linking to a digital "Halloween Shop."

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