Wisconsin retailer pairs food drive with annual spring sale
Pool Works, Inc., in De Pere, Wisconsin, started pairing a food drive with its annual spring sale in 2015.
“Our annual sale is our busiest day of the year,” says Kim Sanders, office manager, “so we wanted to take advantage of the store traffic and give back to our community. We have had a wonderful response from our customers.”
The sale is held mid-March to celebrate the store’s anniversary. “It’s always an extra bonus when we can incorporate a theme,” Sanders says. This year, the sale and food drive were on Pi Day, March 14. Staff wore Pi Day themed shirts and ‘pizza pie’ was served, along with other pi/pie themed foods. Some items in the store were 31.4% off and others were on sale for $31.40.
Patrons were asked to bring nonperishable food items. In return, customers were given one raffle ticket for each item donated. Raffle prizes drawn at the end of the day included a variety of pool and spa items, like donations from vendors, Pool Works gift cards and free pool/spa service.
A schedule of in-store events kept a steady stream of foot traffic coming into the store. Almost 500 customers purchased items during the sale; three registers were set up to keep lines moving quickly. “Our busiest time is typically the double loyalty points [for purchases] timeframe,” Sanders says.
This year, a scavenger hunt was added with clues posted all over the store and warehouse. A local balloon artist also set up a booth along the main aisle to help keep children occupied. “Kids can get balloons made while their parents wait in line,” Sanders says, adding the artist purchased a swim spa a few years ago.
While this year didn’t see an increase in donated items — Sanders says having the event right at the cusp of the COVID-19 prevented an attendance increase — the food drive was on par with previous years, with several bins of food collected during the nine-hour sale, which was donated to Paul’s Pantry in Green Bay. “In addition to the food drive, we donate money and silent auction items to local schools and organizations, we adopt a family at a local shelter for Christmas and participate in Toys for Tots drives,” Sanders says. “Being family owned and operated, we make every effort to give back to our community all year long.”
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