CARTERET, N.J. - Pathmark here is appealing to pet owners' soft side with the launch of a club that will reward them for pet care purchases and donate a share of sales to animal welfare.
The pet club is a continuity program that gives shoppers a $9 certificate toward a future pet care purchase when they spend $100 on pet products using their frequent shopper card. For every $9 certificate a shopper uses, the retailer pledged to give $1 to a local charity. The offer runs April 28-July 27.
The club is a way to recognize the importance of pets to their owners, who spend a significant amount in the store, Pathmark spokesman Rich Savner said.
"Supermarkets are under competition from numerous trade categories, including not just supermarkets, but the specialty pet stores and mass merchant retailers and membership clubs," he said. "It's time to see what opportunities we can take advantage of as we try to grow market share and sales."
Other retailers, including Ralphs and Waldbaums, also have tied pet clubs to charitable donations.
Pet clubs can help retailers connect with shoppers, consultant Raymond Jones said. The danger lies in letting such efforts peter out, however, he said, noting that most retailers would rather spend marketing dollars for product discounts in money-making categories than develop secondary ones.