Why Retailers Should Partner with Suppliers to Help Those in Need
It’s no secret that many small rescue groups and community pet food pantries do not get the kind of donations bigger animal rights organizations receive—that’s why my store, the Animal Connection, chooses to support the little guys who are doing great work but are in desperate need of pet food.
I contacted Dave’s Pet Food, as it has been helpful during store events, to see if the company had any canned goods that were close to the sell by date that we could purchase. As one of its cat food lines was going through a label change, Dave’s Pet Food had around 600 cases of 5 oz. cans that I was able to buy for $10 a case. I was able to purchase a lot of it for donations, and I had some customers who stepped in to help.
Dave’s Pet Food’s generosity allowed us to help Meals On Wheels, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, Rikkis Refuge, Caring For Creatures, Green Dogs Unleashed, Peaceful Passings Senior Pet Rescue, the Cat Action Team, The HOWS Project and Dogs Deserve Better Blue Ridge, in addition to out-of-work restaurant employees. Who knew a change in label design could help so many people and pets in need?
We are glad to help the non-profits, but it has certainly enforced and enlarged our position as the leader of the pet community in the Charlottesville, Va. area. I have no idea why other pet stores are not actively helping out at this time, but this has been a public relations extravaganza for my store—we’re getting a lot of new clients who appreciate what we’re doing and changing stores because they want to support us and our efforts.
You never know how these things work out, and it’s been a super experience. We are honored and humbled to be able to help so many with our wholesale connections. This illustrates why retailers should make every effort to go to trade shows—it helps build great relationships and allows us to personally thank the suppliers who come to our aid when these situations occur.
My store was named Animal Connection because we wanted to be more than a store; we wanted to be the connection for all things concerning a healthy pet lifestyle. Being able to help so many in need is just what we’re all about, and we are so appreciative of our alliance with Dave’s Pet Food.