We are well into the lockdown and hopefully coming out the other side. The Gloucester pet shop has remained open throughout and obviously we always have our webstore. This months offers are available in the shop (one customer group at a time), for telephone order and collection in store, free local delivery to Gloucester and Cheltenham, for a small delivery charge to Stroud and the Forest of Dean and normal courier charges UK wide.
Fortunately we have been able to keep our Gloucester pet shop open throughout the lock down period. We have done this by monitoring government advice, customer behaviours and expectations and especially the needs of those in our community particularly at risk from the virus. As the situation has evolved we have adjusted our opening times, provided new services and restricted non essential sales.
At the weekend the situation changed again and in view of this and changes to the products we can offer (livestock), the associated welfare needs of this livestock and changes in our customers’ behaviours, we have made further adjustments to our opening hours to cope.
A few weeks ago we reduced our opening hours to 2pm closing. This was to enable us to do FREE local delivery. A lot of our customers could not or would rather not come to us during the peak of the pandemic. We had also stopped selling animals (non essential) and actually had very few left in stock. Feeding, watering, cleaning, health checking and monitoring of the livestock is actually what takes up most of the time in the business. We were therefor able to close to do the deliveries because of the time saved by not having a lot of livestock in. As I posted below, this has now changed and we are selling animals again and so we need this time back.
Also many of our customers now feel more able to come to us and actually prefer it because they can browse the shop better than they can the website. Quite a lot like the excuse to get out after weeks of being shut in. It helps them that they can do this safely because of the control measures we already had in place in our Gloucester pet shop in the period prior to lock down. These measures, allowing social distancing remain in place. This has reduced the demand for FREE local delivery, enabling us to reduce the time spent on this service. It is still available to those requiring it but we will be starting the deliveries later in the day. In order to ensure we can still get to all the customers that really do still need us to deliver we have increased the minimum order from £5 to £10. This is to hopefully reduce the amount of deliveries further (we were delivering to some very local customers who weren’t self isolating every other day with orders a couple of pence over the minimum each time).
With the reduced time for the deliveries we have also introduced a delivery schedule, to avoid delivering to opposite ends of the patch on the same night and wasting most of the available time in one long journey. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes if any of this causes our customers any issues.
The new schedule for FREE local delivery from our Gloucester pet shop is below along with a couple of sensible conditions.
Property must be sack truck assessible. We will leave the order at the front door of the main property, telephone the contact number given (or knock, or both) and wait until someone collects the package. We will make only one delivery attempt. If you are not in, or do not answer, the order can be collected from our shop from the following working day onward. If you can do orders to collect please do so as delivery numbers will be limited for the time being. Click and collect is available on our web store but FREE local delivery orders MUST be done by telephone on 01452 501882 and paid for in advance by card. Sorry, no cash on delivery. Cash purchases can only be done in store.
Minimum order £10 Orders must be in by 3pm for same day delivery.
Throughout the lock down we have had an embargo on the sale of animals from our store as non-essential items. No one should have been leaving home for any reason that was not essential. Food for your pet is essential, as are a number of other items, bedding, hygiene products, medicines, toys (essential for the well being of your pet) etc. A new pet was not essential, so unless it was to replace a deceased partner of a social species, or you were in the store buying your normal supplies anyway we had stopped selling animals. We knew this embargo was coming in advance so we stopped restocking with animals before the lock down happened so for the most part we didn’t have any in stock anyway.
The government has now moved to a new phase. The emphasis is moving away from “stay at home” although you should still do this if at all possible, and focusing more on responsible social distancing whilst trying to gradually return society back to normal, over time and with very strict monitoring of the results of any changes. We feel that in line with this change we are now in a position to start offering our livestock for sale again.
This is not a case of everything returning to normal. We already have a social distancing policy in place at our Gloucester pet shop. Only one customer group in the shop at any time, queuing kept to a minimum outside the shop with customers keeping at least 2m apart. Staff maintaining 2m from customers at all times. Click and collect ordering available by telephone and on line in our web store and FREE local delivery for telephone orders. We will be keeping all these procedures in place and this will have an impact on the returning sale of animals.
In normal times we actively encourage prospective owners to interact with their new pet (hold where appropriate), prior to purchase. Under the corona virus restrictions we cannot return to this at present as it would break the social distancing rules. You may ask to look at an animal in its enclosure and where possible staff will try to place the animal in a carrier for you to look at, both of these can be done whilst maintaining 2m between staff and customers but I’m afraid that is the limit of interaction before purchase. You will not be able to hold or inspect the animal further. Our staff will do all the normal pre-sale inspections and of course our livestock policy (the most generous we have found) remains in place to offer you protection.
This is the only way we feel we can return to selling animals whilst maintaining protection for our staff and customers. Please note that this service is available to customers only. We still have a policy of no browsing the animals. We have wide variety of livestock and it attracts a lot of casual visitors. During normal times this is not an issue (unless the “free zoo” visitors get in the way of genuine customers or, as happens from time to time, are disruptive – in which case they are asked to leave). However during the pandemic they represent an unnecessary risk to staff and customers and would also be preventing genuine customers from entering the premises. So for now the “Free Zoo” remains closed. We have had a couple of instances where members of the public have become abusive and/or aggressive with staff when asked to leave if they are not making a purchase and just want to “look at the animals”. Fortunately the number of these instances have been very few but they should not have happened at all. We have a zero tolerance policy toward abuse of staff and will remove from the shop anyone who decides that the middle of the worst crisis to hit the country since the war is a good time to start trying to throw their weight around. As I say it’s rare and we appreciate the rest of our community who understand the need for these restrictive practices at this time.
We update our livestock list on this website daily (or when it changes) and our web store also has all our livestock displayed with prices. All animal sales remain in store only. We do not sell animals to anyone we have not met and chatted to, about the care and welfare of the animal, first.
Finally, customers often have to have a think before making the decision whether to buy that particular animal. Quite right too, you should never rush into purchasing a particular pet. We would ask however that whilst making the decision you leave the store if it is going to take a few minutes as we cannot allow anyone else in at the same time as you so there could be a queue outside.
Difficult times call for difficult measures and we know none of this is exactly an ideal “customer experience” so we thank you all in advance for your understanding as we try to remain in business whilst protecting ourselves and our families as well as you and yours.
May has started well, nice weather and at least the hope of an end in sight for the lockdown. Fingers crossed. We now have our monthly offers for May available in store, for telephone orders and online. Please remember to call us at the store on 01452 501882 if you require FREE local delivery. You can order on line for courier delivery or to collect in store but you need to call us for FREE delivery to Gloucester and Cheltenham. We can also do delivery to nearby areas like Stroud and the Forest for a small charge (£5).
As always our monthly offers can prove very popular and can sell out in store or at the wholesalers quite quickly so do order early to avoid disappointment. Also the FREE local delivery is getting busier so please get orders in early for same day delivery. We are at the point where we may have to defer late orders until the next available slot.
Our APL ranges of pet foods are very popular. From the entry level, hypoallergenic Super Premium range, to the higher meat content natural diet, Grain Free range. Many customers have moved onto these foods from poorer quality supermarket brands and noticed a marked difference in their pets appetite, digestion and coat. More have moved from over priced, supposedly premium brands and found the same thing, as well as more money in their pockets. No food will suit every single animal but the feedback from the vast majority of customers making the move has been very positive. APL Superfood is a fine addition to these existing ranges.
We are now launching a new range of foods under our APL brand. Our new APL Superfood range. This food is even higher meat content again than our existing Grain Free range and will suit customers feeding the highest end brands such as Canagan and Orijen but at a much better price point.
Orijen Original, an 85% meat, high quality ingredient food retails in our store for £71.99 for the largest 11.4kg bag. Canagan, a British sourced and manufactured 60% meat food (Orijen is Canadian), retails in our store for £67.99 for the largest 12kg bag.
APL Superfood, a British manufactured, high quaility ingredient food will retail in our store for £59.99 for a 12kg bags. The 2kg bags are only £1.00 and £2.50 more than the existing APL Grain Free range.
Of course you may be using some other brand of grain free kibble but want to try a different brand to see how it compares, both in quality, condition, digestibility and price. If you have any questions please do contact us and we will be glad to help.
Customers have been complaining and the media have been reporting, some shops are putting up prices as demand for popular items goes up. Happy to say that we have not put up a single price during the crisis and this month we have our regular wholesalers offers available so actually some prices are going down.
The easiest way to take advantage of these offers is to call us on 01452 501882 and pay by card over the telephone for collection in store or FREE local delivery. Customers not living in the local area can order online for normal courier delivery (charges will apply).
Stay at home and stay safe – The Angell Pets Team.
As the lockdown continues and the government continues to encourage everyone to stay at home as much as possible we have decided to do our bit to help. As of today we are re-introducing our FREE local delivery service for ALL customers.
We used to offer this service from our last premises but had to withdraw it following a spinal injury and subsequent serious illness that left me unable to lift anything (or even to stand at one point) and impeded my mobility. In order to enable us to bring the service back Billie will have to do the deliveries and that means we have to close the shop early each day to do it.
From today we have introduced new reduced opening hours to enable us to carry out deliveries (and supplier collections) in the afternoons. The new hours are as follows:-
Monday 13:00 – 1600
Tuesday 10:00 – 14:00
Wednesday 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 10:00 – 14:00
Friday 10:00 – 14:00
Saturday 10:00 – 14:00
FREE local delivery will be available for ALL orders over £5 to the following postcodes:- GL1, GL2, GL3, GL4 GL50, GL51 (that’s Cheltenham and Gloucester). Please telephone your order to 01452 501882 before 14:00. If it is a stock item we will deliver that day or the next. If it is not something we usually stock (or is currently out of stock) we will deliver it when the order arrives at the shop. We will still be OPEN everyday to receive deliveries and for those customers who still wish to visit the shop. Please note that all orders for the FREE delivery must be placed by telephone and paid for by card at the time of ordering. We cannot do cash on delivery at this time.
If you give us your contact number we can call you just before we arrive then knock and leave the item on our doorstep for you to come out and retrieve it before we leave. Alternatively we can leave it in a previously agreed secure area at the customers risk. Everyone should be home (that’s kind of the point of doing this) so we will only attempt one delivery. If we cannot get a response we will return the item to the shop for collection by the customer. Of course click and collect is still available on our website and by telephone. This system has been working well up to this point.
We are already doing FREE delivery to the vulnerable members of our community and we have reduced the minimum order value for this service to £5 to make it even easier for them to shop. The shop early closing is just to carryout the large volume of deliveries we are getting and expect to see increase. We are very busy and cannot cope with the deliveries with the shop still open and needing staffing. Please note this delivery service is for essential items so we will not be delivering animals. We insist that customers come to the shop to view animals before purchasing anyway and have suspended most animal sales during the current crisis.
So for FREE local delivery call 01452 501882before 14:00. If you call after 14:00 we will be out delivering so will have to call you back when we are in the shop, which won’t be until the next working day.
I was asked a simple question today and realised that the answer was not as simple as it seemed. Are you selling animals at the moment? I have put out this message to explain our current position and the reasoning behind it.
The current legislation, for very obvious and humanitarian reasons, seeks to limit peoples movements and to keep people at home. This is not, as some people think to stop the virus spreading, it is to slow the rate of spread down and keep hospital numbers manageable. We clearly should not be doing anything as a community business to work against this effort. No one should be going out for any reason other than those listed as permissable by the government guidelines, such as to get to work, medical or care reasons, esssential supplies etc.
We obviously fit into essential supplies for most of our products. Pet foods are essential, pets have to eat. Bedding material, medical and water treatments, shampoos, brushes etc can also be considered essential, if not immediately within a few days. Animals will still defecate and urinate so you have to clean them out. Fish will still need water changes, animals still get minor ailments and infestations. I suspect self isolation would be a lot more unpleasant if your cat had fleas you could not treat. Groomers are closed and within a few weeks some breeds are going to become very matted (a welfare issue for the animal) and probably a bit stinky (a welfare issue for the owner!).
Other items are less clear. Is it really essential that you upgrade your budgie cage right now? Probably not. Will it cause any welfare issues to wait a few weeks until the restrictions are hopefully lifted? Probably not. Best to stay at home. Of course you may be coming to the shop anyway to buy bird seed and then, well you are not making an extra journey so that would be acceptable. Don’t use the food as an excuse though, we are all trying to be responsible at the moment. However if your cage breaks and the bird can no longer be secured then it is now essential. Not so simple is it?
Animals seem more obvious but are they? Now is not the time to be leaving home to buy a new pet. In fact, under the current legislation it will possibly earn you a fine. So we are not selling animals for this reason at present. Please still contact us for advice on what you need and how to care for any animal we sell. Even reserve the animal if you wish but put off actually coming in to pick it up until after the restrictions are lifted. We will look after it for you at no charge.
Sometimes however it is not so clear cut. I’ve long said that keeping spiders is habit forming, if not out and out addictive! If someone is in the shop buying livefood for their collection or substrate for repotting, or a larger enclosure etc, then spotting a spider in store that they have been waiting to get and buying it at the same time is not adding to the risk of spreading the virus at all and we would be willing to sell the animal under that circumstance. The journey was being made anyway.
The only other circumstance we are selling animals at the moment is where animal welfare is the main reason for purchase. Some animals are very social. Loss of a cage mate can cause serious depression and in extreme circumstances the premature death of the remaining pet. Rats are one obvious example of this but it can also be seen in rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents, some birds and even some shoaling fish. If an animal is suffering and you need a cage mate to alleviate that suffering then yes we will sell you an animal for that reason. We would class that as essential although it is not us that has to explain to the nice police officer what you are doing out, although we would back you up if required.
So the general message is don’t go out unless you really need to for essential supplies and be honest with yourself about this. These meassures are not in place to protect you really. They are there to protect the vulnerable members of our society who unlike you won’t just get a bit of a cold but might actually die and also the staff still required to serve customers who need these essential supplies, namely me! So don’t be surprised if I am not my normal welcoming self if you turn up having decided that the worst public health crisis to face this country for at least a generation is the time you “really need” to buy some guinea pigs, a hutch and run, some food etc. because the kids are off school and need something to do.
Well that turned into a little bit of a rant and it wasn’t supposed to. Most people are very reasonable and sensible, however in the retail trade you would be surprised at what we encounter!
Stay safe, be well and if you are thinking of getting a new pet, we’ll see you on the other side.
Obviously the measures businesses are being asked to take by the government are being increased in a staged fashion in order to control the rate of infection within the population. Our pet shop is considered an essential business. Animals have to be fed. In order to allow us to stay open and to protect our staff, customers and business we are constantly updating our operating procedures so we are still there for you when you need us and also so we have stock on the shelves when you need it.
We have today introduced new protection measures to enable us to continue to be allowed to provide our services to you. I have listed all the current measures below to try and keep it simple and hopefully to convey why each step is important.
Opening times remain as normal. We are classed as an essential business.
Only one customer (or customer group) in store at a time. This obviously aids social distancing but also allows us to disinfect hard surfaces, card pin pads and hands in between customers.
We have a covered area in front of the shop, to protect customers from the elements should a small queue form. If this happens, please maintain at least a 2m distance from other customers, as per guidelines. We don’t think this will be an issue as our customers tend to come in in a fairly regular stream through the day but obviously with people off work this may change. Please be sensible and protect yourselves and others. If people do congregate police may disperse you or worse so if you see others outside the shop, stay in your car or away from the store until those people have been served and have left.
No members of the public who just wish to view the animals or just browse will be allowed in. We are open for our customers only to buy essential supplies.
Customers will be assisted to make their purchases as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining suitable distance. This keeps the risk of infection to a minimum and allows us to keep customers flowing.
We are encouraging customers to telephone orders in and pay by card over the phone, where possible. We can then have their orders ready for collection within minutes (unless pre-ordering is required, then we can give a date for collection).
For a select group of customers (those infected and having to self isolate, those with serious underlying health issues, such as chemotherapy treatment, or those over the age of 70) we can deliver locally for free. Please telephone your order in. Use the website to choose what you want by all means but telephone the order in (subject to a minimum order of £10). The website will charge for delivery. We ask those who are not in one of these categories not to abuse this service, as we are not set up to deliver to everyone.
Anyone who is infected or has been in close contact with someone who is infected please stay at home and use the service above. We will telephone you when we arrive with your delivery and leave it on the doorstep and wait until you have come out to collect it so it doesn’t “go missing”.
We have limited certain items to one or two per customer. This means that we can ensure the shelves remain full and our customers can get what they want, when they want it. Then there is no need to stock up.
By following the above procedure we can protect our customers, ourselves (if we get ill we will have to close) and our business. As long as we can demonstrate we are essential (and we are) and that we are taking all reasonable measures to limit the spread of the virus, we will be allowed to stay open. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes by our trade federations to make sure this situation continues. We hope that we can rely on our customers to be understanding. So far, we are pleased to say we have not had one single incident of a customer not being understanding or being rude to staff because of the sensible precautions we are taking so thank you very much for your continued support.
We have noticed in the last couple of days that there has been an increase in sales to individual customers. Customers that usually buy one bag of dog food a month are buying two or three, customers that usually buy three boxes of locusts are getting six oir eight. Obviously this is so that if they are forced to self isolate in the event of them catching Corvid 19, they can be sure they have enough supplies in for their animals. Whilst this is understandable it has meant that some regular customers are finding that their normal supplies are not on the shelf when they need them and although it only takes us a few days to restock and we have no issues with any suppliers, it does lead to more people panickling that they are going to be without.
In an attempt to both alleviate the need to “stock up” and to help out if any of our customers should actually need to self isolate (i.e. people that do have or are suspected to have the virus or vulnerable groups such as the elderly) we are introducing free home delivery for anyone who has had to go into quarantine. If you are genuinley having to self isolate and cannot get out to buy supplies, call us on 01452 501882. You can order and pay over the telephone (subject to a minimum order value of £10), we will then deliver to your house, give you a call to tell you we are there and leave the product at your door for you to collect when we have gone. No need for any contact.
Please note, this service is only for genuine cases of self isolation. We are a small family business and are not currently set up to do a full home delivery service at the moment due to my own on going health conditions. If you are not self isolating we have a large FREE carpark at our shop in Hucclecote. We just want to do our bit to help out those unable to make it to us because of the current Corona Virus situation and to reduce the impulse to bulk buy and spread the available supplies amongst all our customers. Thank you in advance for not abusing this service.