Coronavirus diaries: PetPlace

PetPlace has introduced cutting-edge social distancing and safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of its customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retailer, which has sites across North Wales, is the first in the UK to install Record FlowControl at its Abergele store, a revolutionary automated system that only allows a shopper to enter when someone has exited the premises/building. 

It means staff can be better utilised in serving and replenishing stock, as well as supporting people with their customer journey.

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The play park, coffee bar and cinema for dogs is currently closed due to Covid-19 but Managing Director Sion Pritchard said Farm and Pet Place stores in Chirk, Ruthin, Mold and Llangefni are also open for business, with restrictions. The reopening follows a £1m loan from Lloyds bank and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) after PetPlace successfully scaled up its online and click and collect service to manage a 600% rise in demand.

We have been in operation throughout the lockdown period, safely managing to provide customers with essential pet food and supplies through our online platforms and click and collect. As we have phased the reopening over past weeks there has been significant investment in bringing about measures that ensure the safety and wellbeing people entering and leaving the store, and while shopping.

Our personal services such as harness fitting and the dog washing and grooming areas are still closed, but we are otherwise fully operational with strict distancing measures in place. PetPlace is limiting the number of customers in-store at any one time and flow of traffic will be redirected by staff when necessary, to avoid congestion.

A hygiene station is situated near the entrance to encourage the use of hand sanitiser, and trolleys will be disinfected after every use. High contact areas will be cleaned hourly and customers are being encouraged to shop alone where possible, and to not bring their pets onto the premises. 

There is also a new, safe way of paying at the till. People are being asked to deposit their trolley and then step back while items are scanned safely, and only card payments are being taken. 

We look forward to welcoming customers back to our stores and please ask them to adhere to the new rules for their safety and that of our team.”

By PetPlace MD Sion Pritchard

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