Retailers

Pet retailer to develop first ‘Covid store’ after lockdown sales surge 

PetPlace has announced it is planning to roll out new branding after a “significant” reinvestment following a lockdown sales surge, as well as a funding boost.

The retailer has now invested the £1m it received from the Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme (CLBILS) back into the business.

The company will now begin to redevelop its Llangefni store to introduce a play park, coffee bar and cinema for dogs.

It will mark the group’s first ever ‘Covid store’, featuring new safety measures such as new till screens, signage, trollies, wider aisles and the installation of Record FlowControl – an automated system which monitors the numbers of people inside and only allows a shopper to enter when someone has exited the building.

Managing director Sion Pritchard said PetPlace will be “fully-prepared” should there be a second wave of the virus or a situation that requires staff to work from home or remotely.

He said: “We are in a strong position and because we moved quickly – with the support of Lloyds Bank – safety measures were put in place in all of our stores and we were able to carry on trading.

“The Click and Collect service and deliveries really took off, with us shipping hundreds of products all over the UK every day.”

He added: “As a result, we saw a big rise in online sales which has enabled the business to get on the front foot and prepare for the future, starting with the rebranding of our 25,000 sq ft Llangefni store.”

PetPlace is also stocking a range of accessories, treats and food, including Ruffwear and Waudog, and has launched a new website during lockdown.

It has also partnered with North Wales names for store improvements, including Active CCTV and Rawson IT, who installed a “cutting-edge” cloud-based telephone system so staff could work from home during the pandemic.

Craig Davies, managing director of Rawson IT, said the advanced technology will allow them to control the multi-site business from their central office.

He added: “The system will make communication a lot easier across all of the stores. We did the job remotely to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees and we are sure it will benefit PetPlace for many years to come.”

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