Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Retailers tailor marketing to Year of the Dog theme

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the advent of the Year of the Dog at the end of the month, retailers are capitalizing on the animal's hard-to-resist appeal with canine-themed marketing campaigns to help heat up the New Year atmosphere.

Dogs are traditionally viewed as an auspicious creature in Chinese culture. The ancient saying "Dogs bring fortune" (狗來富) tells it all.

Eying people's growing love of dogs, President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), operator of the world's third-largest 7-Eleven franchise, plans to kick off a one-month-long activity starting tomorrow to offer a series of dog-related products at low prices.

"As most consumers are fond of catching a bit of the dog's luck in the Lunar New Year, we have designed this value-added consumption concept," Vivien Hsu (徐崇嵐), a public relations official of President Chain, said yesterday.

By buying certain commodity packages, consumers can bring home dolls, bags or hanging decorations featuring Snoopy, "The Dog" and the alien dog "Open" (Open 小將), which was created by President Chain as its cartoon mascot, at prices ranging from NT$10 (US$0.30) to NT$49 apiece.

The chain will also sell gift boxes featuring the Japanese cartoon figure "Purin the Dog."

Hsu expects the campaign, which will last until Feb. 3 when the Lunar New Year concludes, to boost single-month revenue by 20 percent to 30 percent from the NT$6.47 billion figure recorded a year ago.

Carrefour Taiwan, the nation's largest hypermarket chain, is also preparing 2 million dog figures in 20 different breeds during the period. With purchases of NT$100, customers can buy one dog for NT$15.

"We do not have expectations about how much this may increase sales, but aim to strengthen communications with consumers and create a festive atmosphere," said Dream Lin (林夢紹), Carrefour's public relations manager.

Rival RT-Mart (大潤發) will hold a lucky draw during the Lunar New Year holidays starting on Jan. 28 and will give away dog dolls to stimulate sales.

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