LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here is reaching 400,000 new pet owners at adoption sites in five states with dog and cat training videos and coupons for pet food redeemable only at its stores.
“We understand the importance of pets to our customers and recognize our responsibility as the grocer of choice to provide helpful information and convenience when available,” spokesw0man Maria Brous said. “The DVDs will help raise awareness that we are the one-stop-shopping destination for the entire family, including members of the four-legged kind.”
The program is part of a partnership forged with PetsIncredible, a division of Animal Planet Media Enterprises that produces animal training DVDs.
“We look for partners that are committed to providing value to our customers,” Brous said. “PetsIncredible met our standards, and the DVD was born.”
The 90-minute “Training Your Adopted Dog” and “Training Your Adopted Cat: Everything You Need to Know About Your Newest Family Member” DVDs are distributed at animal shelters in Publix market areas in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, along with dog- and cat-specific sets of coupons redeemable only at Publix stores.
“Our suppliers provided coupons as an added value to pet adopters,” Brous said.
The coupons can be used for discounts on products from Iams, Purina, Snausages, Pedigree, Hartz, Sergeant's, Cat's Pride, Tidy Cats and Frosty Paws. Publix is not tracking redemption rates, but the retailer has received positive customer feedback, Brous said.
Pet adopters began receiving the free DVDs and coupons the week of Dec. 18.
“During the holidays, pet adoption rises as families bring home pets as gifts to their loved ones,” Brous said. “Statistics show that dogs and cats in shelters are typically there for behavioral issues.”
Publix's initial commitment, described by Brous as the first phase of the program, includes the distribution of 400,000 sets of coupons and DVDs. Additional details will follow, she said.
Brous couldn't provide details of Publix's financial commitment to the partnership.
As part of PetsIncredible's separate Shelter Helper program, animal adoption agencies can purchase the training DVDs, which are valued at $29, for 99 cents each.
“Our Shelter Helper program is designed to help animal shelters create better adoptive parents by providing them with an affordable, humane and effective training program for their adopters,” reads a statement on PetIncredible's website. “Our goal is to enable shelters to send the DVD home with every adoption.”
Although Publix facilitates Baby Club and Preschool Pals loyalty programs, it doesn't currently have a pet club in place. Brous declined to comment about whether it will form one in the future.
The “Training Your Adopted Dog” DVD covers topics including crate training, house training, chewing, jumping, manners, obedience, food and nutrition, while “Training Your Adopted Cat” addresses welcoming cats home, litter box training, scratching, playtime and toys, spraying and marking, introducing cats to other pets, cats and kids, food and nutrition.