TIPS FOR A WINNING ENTRY
Want to learn how to create a winning entry? Read our blog posts that give you step-by-step information on how to increase your chances at becoming an America's Coolest Store. Click on the links below.
2018 RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS
If you’re a U.S. pet store, pet boutique, kennel, groomer, pet daycare, or pet sitter with six or fewer locations and have not previously been featured in America’s Coolest Stores, you are eligible for the contest. Previous winners may enter other store locations, and they may enter if their winning location has been substantially renovated, modified or expanded since being featured in PETS+. Businesses must have been open for at least one year prior to entering. And you must have a brick-and-mortar, physical location that caters directly to consumers.
and create an account. Doing so will allow you to save a draft of your entry and update it later as needed. (To access your entry after creating an account, use your email address and password under Login.) In order to be considered for the competition, entrants must complete all required fields in the entry form (general information, online presence and store stats) and submit the following materials:
Business history / bio. No more than 250 words.
What’s cool about your business? No more than 250 words.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as a business owner? No more than 250 words.
Three fun facts about your business. No more than 250 words.
One out-of-the-box idea you’ve implemented this past year. No more than 250 words.
2. 3-12 color images of the exterior of your business. (JPEG files only, 900K-2MB each in size.)
3. 6-12 color images of the interior or your business AND ONE IMAGE OF YOUR BUSINESS’S OWNER(S). (JPEG files only, 900K-2MB each in size.)
4. Marketing samples - 3-12 of print, radio, billboards, stationery and collateral. (Image files should be JPEG or PDF format, under 2MB each in size.)
5. Radio spots and videos (optional). Provide up to five YouTube (or other similar Web-based audio/video hosts) URLs on the lines provided.
Until 11:59 p.m. Eastern March 15, 2018, you may log in to edit your entry by going to petsplusmag.com/acs and clicking on “OR LOG INTO AN EXISTING ACCOUNT.” If you forget your password, click on the link in the login page to request it.
Step 1: From all initial entries, a group of finalists will be selected by PETS+’s editors.
Step 2: Our panel of industry-expert judges will rate each finalist from 0-100 in six categories: story, exterior appearance, interior appearance, advertising and marketing, store website and overall individuality.
Step 3: Total scores are calculated weighting the categories according to importance: story 50 percent, exterior 75 percent, interior 100 percent, advertising 50 percent, online presence 25 percent and individuality 100 percent. The top five businesses in each category are then determined.
Winners will be notified in April or May. The top 12 businesses will be named in the July-August issue of PETS+ and featured in the magazine through June 2018. Entering the contest indicates an understanding that a reporter will interview the business’s owner, manager and staff and that the store is expected to provide high-resolution images of the store and owner(s) for publication. Winners will be permitted to use the America’s Coolest Stores logo in their promotional materials, indicating they have been chosen as such by PETS+ magazine.