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2014 Creative Choice Award Winners

Merchandising Category Winner
Best Single Manufacturer Event
"Barking Lot Sale" 
Dill’s Food City IGA
Royston, GA and Lavonia, GA

July 20, 2013 (one-day event)

Dill's Barking Lot

Description of the event

Storeowner Tracy Dilworth had done pet care sales and adoption events in the past, but when he began talking with his Purina representative about a big summertime sale and pet adoption event that would span two stores (Royston and Lavonia Dills IGA stores), he knew it was time to christen this event with a catchy name that would grab the community’s attention. The IGA Barking Lot Sale was born.

Tracy contacted the local animal shelter, and together with the help of a local church youth group, put together a pet adoption area where customers could pet and play with animals and hopefully adopt them. There were eight animals adopted during the course of the event, and each family was sent home with an adoption starter kit donated by Purina with food, toys, food bowls, and a list of tips about bringing your new pet home.

Dill’s also hosted a car wash in both of the store’s parking lots and the proceeds went to the animal shelter. He was also able to donate three pallets of products to the animal shelter through customer donations.

Tracy’s Purina representative sent several pallets of giveaway items, signage, balloons, and other materials to help Dill’s promote the event. Throughout the store there were displays of featured pet foods and pet supplies that lead to sales increases throughout the category.

Purpose of the event

Dill’s was looking for a way to increase sales in the high dollar pet care category. At the same time, he wanted to do something to show the community that he cares about issues that are important to them—like pet overpopulation and the needs of the local animal shelter—and to bring the community together in a fun and exciting way.

Steps taken to develop and execute the event

Tracy started talking to the Purina representative six months before the event, and started organizing store displays and merchandise. He got the animal shelter and youth group on board soon after. He then had flyers printed up to pass around at each store, at the animal shelter, at local schools and at other community events.

Success of the event

Sales were up 100 percent in the pet care department of both stores because of this promotion. Having the animals out in the parking lot brought a couple hundred customers to each store on that specific date, and as a result more customers were in each store shopping, so there was a bump in sales throughout each store.