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Chewy sends pet paintings to keep customers from straying

The online pet store sends 1,000 free paintings a week to select customers, tapping into people’s obsession with their fur children.
Credit: AP
In this photo made Monday, March 2, 2020, Danielle Moore poses for photos with Kana and also paintings of the pet Australian cattle dog in Dallas. In the dog-eat-dog world of online shopping, Chewy has an unusual plan to fend off Amazon: turning pets into works of art. The online pet shop surprises customers with oil paintings of their furry friends, a move the company says wins them customers for life. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NEW YORK — Chewy is using a personal touch and a bit of kitsch to hook customers. 

The online pet store sends 1,000 free paintings a week to select customers, tapping into people’s obsession with their fur children.

Those in the pet industry credit Chewy’s success to its customer service, but it’s the paintings that have customers panting. 

The portraits have become a hit on social media.

Credit: AP
In this photo made Monday, March 2, 2020, Danielle Moore, standing, poses for photos with Kana and also a painting of the pet Australian cattle dog in Dallas. In the dog-eat-dog world of online shopping, Chewy has an unusual plan to fend off Amazon: turning pets into works of art. The online pet shop surprises customers with oil paintings of their furry friends, a move the company says wins them customers for life. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

So far, Chewy has been able to withstand the pandemic and even benefit from all the newly-minted pet owners that have been an outcrop of the lockdowns. 

Its stock price more than tripled in 2020 and its customer base neared 18 million, up 40% from the year before.