Now that The Park’s Small Animal Hibernating Community (SAHC) has elected Sunniva Muldvarp 2017 Keeper of the Nut, it’s time to get serious about preparing for hibernation, say the retailers who are experts in the field.
“With not even five days left, it will be a scramble this year,” Nafari Bongo told The Mammalian Daily this morning.
Bongo, who is director of sales for GoUnderground, The Park’s oldest hibernation outfitter, said business had been particularly slow this past week, but has picked up considerably since yesterday.
“The two elections in one week usually affect business for a day or so, but this year, Animals were exceptionally distracted by all the hoopla. They couldn’t keep their minds on the process of hibernation preparation,” he said.
Bongo said they’d hired extra staff for the next five days and tomorrow the store will host its first-ever First-Timers event.
“We’ve found that the new generation of Animals is less prepared for its first hibernation. There seems to be a gap in knowledge, so we’ve instituted this event to help them,” he said.
Things are also humming along at Burrows and Beyond, according to vice-president of sales Kerman Astoa. While the firm stopped taking orders for new burrows this past Thursday, they’re still receiving inquiries as well as an “unusually high” number of orders for their signature Burrow Safety Checks (BSC). The company considers the BSCs to be essential, so they’ve also hired extra staff to accommodate these late requests.
“We do encourage hibernators to arrange for them early in the Autumn, but we understand that it’s not the first thing on their list,” says Astoa.
Over at Provisions by Petrounel, the prestigious Park grocer that specializes in post-hibernation sustenance, owner Beatrice T. Orang says their new pre-orders for 2017 are up by thirty percent.
“We’ve kept our standing orders steady for three years now, but in terms of new business, it’s way up this year,” she says.
There was a time when many thought The Park might not be able to sustain so many hibernation specialty shops, but that fear has vanished over the past few years, in part due to the growth in the hibernating population. And Orang says that even though she has competition, she has lost very few customers.
“Hibernators tend to be loyal and we appreciate that,” she says.
All in all, 2016 looks as though it’s going to be a very profitable year for the hibernation business. That is, as long as hibernators get themselves to the shops on time.