Kelsey Hinton’s canine gets royal treatment at John’s Appliance & Bedding
By Andy Kriege, YSN
Kelsey Hinton’s dog Cash is named after the legendary man in black, Johnny Cash. The seven-year-old Frenchton (three parts French bulldog, one part Boston terrier), is the second pup to appear in YSN’s Dog Days of BrandSource Contest.
Hinton began bringing her precocious pooch to work while he was still a puppy, and over the ensuing seven years the customer-friendly canine has become a fixture at John’s Appliance & Bedding in South Daytona, Fla.
Indeed, Cash has also become a part of the company’s brand, as he is often featured in the store’s wacky advertising campaigns, giving the diminutive dog an outsized media presence.
Customers seek out the store’s canine mascot and often ask for him by name. “We often joke that he should do ‘paw’-tograph sessions for his legions of fans,” Hinton said. “He does take a lot of selfies.”
Part of Cash’s charisma is the people-like personality he has taken on. “I know a lot of dog owners say this, but Cash is more like a human than a dog,” Hinton said. “He often sits in a chair facing my desk as a customer would, which cracks up our real customers.”
It’s also apparent that Cash is very smart and equally obedient. “Cash has the run of the entire store, but if he wanders off, I page him on the overhead system and he comes right to my desk,” she said.
Hinton heartily recommends bringing one’s dog to work. “Yes, do it!” she said. Besides boosting employee morale, Cash does an amazing job of endearing himself to customers. “I often joke that our sales are better when I bring him in,” Hinton said.
He also seems to assuage some of the pain of those inevitable replacement purchases. “Customers aren’t often happy to be shelling out a pile of money for an appliance they didn’t plan on failing,” she noted. “Sometimes just having Cash hanging around seems to lighten up those unplanned purchases.”
The pup-friendly policy also extends to customers. “We advertise on our front door that we are pet friendly and our customers love it,” Hinton said. “They often tell me it made the difference in whether to stop in. We never want anyone to leave their pets in the car.”
“I think it helps with business by allowing people to bring in their pets into the store,” she continued. “If they are out running errands, they can stop in without having to take their pet home first. There’s never a dull moment around here.”
Hinton said the vast majority of visitors approve of the store’s pet-friendly policy. “Ninety-nine percent of our customers absolutely love it. I know I always love seeing an office dog when I visit different businesses.”
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BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.