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Howling with joy

Wolf skin highlights birthday promotion

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Jan 10/01) - The Kativik Ltd. store in Rankin Inlet celebrated its first birthday in the community with a howl.

The store ran a 15-day promotion culminating on New Year's Day with the drawing for a genuine wolf skin.

Veronica Ell was the lucky winner of the skin when newly elected hamlet Mayor Jack Kabvitok drew her ticket from among the bag full of entries.

Store general manager Dale Smutylo said Kativik Ltd. wanted to see somebody start off the new year happy with a nice wolf skin.

Since the winner had to be present for the draw, he said it was also an ideal way to attract people to the store in order to see its constantly expanding product line.

"We started promoting the event about the second week of December and we received a fairly good response," said Smutylo.

"For every $50 a customer spent at the store between mid-December and the draw date on Jan. 1, they received an entry ticket."

Kativik Ltd. opened on Dec. 29, 1999, and Smutylo became the store's general manager this past May.

Since that time, he's initiated contact with a number of suppliers and has been constantly adding to the store's product line.

Smutylo said he is also working to get a number of distribution deals in place with southern companies, such as PFAFF sewing machines, to be able to distribute their products in Rankin.

Kativik Ltd. will be receiving both exterior and interior renovations this year and will also be exploring ways to get more actively involved with the community.

The store now has a nine-person staff and Smutylo says part of his 2001 agenda is to have Kativik looked at as more than just a neighbourhood convenience store.

"We're still looking at ways to best utilize the space we have available and, basically, our ultimate goal is to become more or less a small department store.

"We're also looking at ways to become more of a part of the community, not just a place that sells things, and that's going to be a focus this year as well."