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At a Minneapolis Store, Hoppy Hour is for the Rabbits

Host a time specifically for bunnies to play. 

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JUST LIKE DOGS, bunnies enjoy hanging out with their friends. They run and hop and play, and then chill a bit before starting up again. Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis, MN, gives them space to do exactly that every other Friday during its Hoppy Hour with the Minneapolis Companion Rabbit Society.

THE IDEA

Co-host an Event for Bunnies & Their Owners

The store carries rabbit supplies, including food, treats and toys. The event came together four years ago when a member of the companion rabbit society began shopping there. The society holds events at other locations in the city and was eager to partner with Urban Tails, too, because of its separate dog training and play area.

About 20 people bring their pets — some bring several — to Hoppy Hour. They mix and mingle while their bunnies do the same.

“The rabbits get to interact, get their energy out,” store manager Megan Trombley says. “It’s good for the community, and it’s good for business.”

Admission costs $3 per bunny, with the rabbit organization and Urban Tails splitting the proceeds 50-50. Attendees shop before the event starts at 5 p.m. and after it ends at 6:30.

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THE EXECUTION

Let the Experts Lead

While the store does have a rabbit owner on staff, it relies on the society to run Hoppy Hour. The nonprofit organization has a strong focus on rescue and education, and can best create and maintain a safe play environment.

“The bunnies who come are usually good with others,” Trombley says. “If there is an issue, the members will break up the bunnies involved.”

Members of the rabbit society also handle setting up chairs, mats, agility obstables, litter boxes, and post-Hoppy Hour cleanup.

Both the society and Urban Tails promote the event on Facebook and their websites, and employees are sure to mention it to customers buying rabbit supplies. The store also has had manufacturers attend and provide free samples.

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THE RESULTS

Significant Uptick in Sales

Not only does Urban Tails support the rabbit community in Minneapolis by hosting the event, the store also sees a significant uptick on nights it hosts Hoppy Hour.

“On average, we do 20 percent more in sales,” Trombley says.

Do It Yourself: Hold a Bunny Event 

  • Partner with a rabbit rescue. Be sure to choose a well-established, respected group.
  • Decide responsibilities and put them in writing, from promotion and setup to monitoring and cleanup.
  • Create event flyers and give them to customers who buy rabbit supplies.
  • Get signed releases. No bunny will be like The Killer Rabbit from Monty Python, but better safe than sorry.
  • Take pics and videos. Post to your social media channels. Great viral potential.

 

Pamela Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Spot the senior Boston Terrier as her assistant.

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