Pet Supplies Plus franchisees often start as loyal customers. If you ask Curtis and Renee Otjen who turned them on to the pet retail franchise, they’ll tell you it was their dogs, Jaz, Bailey and Huck. When the family moved from Detroit to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they couldn’t find a pet store that welcomed their dogs. “There wasn’t anywhere like Pet Supplies Plus for us to shop with our dogs,” Curtis said. “We figured the only way to get what we wanted was to open one ourselves.” Not only did the Otjens find a perfect fit for their pets, they created a welcoming space for all the neighbors and pets in their community.
Fundraising for Forever Homes
Pet Supplies Plus franchisees are more than store owners – they’re part of the community. Community involvement increases brand loyalty and provides an opportunity to give back—and it can affect overall sales. Each franchisee chooses a unique way to give back. The Otjens chose to get involved with local animal shelters. Since launching their franchise in 2015, the couple has partnered with a handful of rescue shelters. They particularly enjoy hosting adoption events and fundraisers “We have a lot more traffic than the county shelter. We use our platform for good, and we’ve sponsored their annual fundraising event for the past two years,” Curtis said. Through the adoption unit in the store, they helped place more than 192 cats in forever homes. The high volume of shoppers helps increase awareness and facilitates more adoptions. Additionally, the Otjen’s donate often to nearby shelters – nearly 200 pounds of food per week. Giving back to shelters is one of the most rewarding parts of business ownership, they said.
Community Outreach Fosters Brand Loyalty
Pet lovers consider many factors when they choose where to shop, one being charity work. If a store actively gives back, it shows a commitment to the community and builds customer loyalty. Neighbors that adopt animals at in-store events are likely to return to that store for supplies and advice. Building those relationships results in more regular visits and sales.
Mentoring Tomorrow’s Pet Lovers
The Otjens are always looking for new ways to connect with their community. Many of their employees are young, and the Otjens enjoy mentoring first-time job holders. “It’s like another way to give back. Teach them about the job, a love for animals and customer service. We love seeing our employees learn and grow,” Curtis said. To learn more about franchising with Pet Supplies Plus, get in touch with us here.