Unfortunately my spinal condition and associated complications has me currently disabled and unable to work and practically housebound. For the last month or two Billie has been running the business on her own carrying out all the shop duties (ordering, unloading deliveries and stocking shelves, serving customers, answering the phone, feeding, watering and cleaning all the animals, cleaning the shop, opening and closing etc.) as well as all the back office duties (banking, stock control, website management, supplier issues, finance, answering customer emails and social media enquiries etc.).
This month her brother, George, has returned from New Zealand and has agreed to help out by giving up his Saturday and a couple of evenings a week to take off some of the pressure.
Not only is this good news for us because of the extra pair of hands but we couldn’t have asked for a more qualified, experienced, expert person to step into the breach.
George has a first degree honours in Animal Science from UWE. During this study he won two awards, including top student. He has worked in the UK with a very wide variety of animals both his own and with a professional animal breeder and flown a variety of birds of prey. He has worked on a rhino reserve in South Africa, tracked king cobras in the Thai jungle (where he broke his collar bone – he always pushes things to the limit!), swam with whale sharks (but didn’t check his camera was charged) and worked on black parrot conservation on Mahe in the Seychelles and the Madagascan Fody on Assumption Island in the Indian Ocean during a year off from his degree.
He lived in New Zealand for three years (at one point working on “Mount Doom” from the Lord of The Rings – his “office”) and twice nearly fell off cliffs! He has been working on the conservation of New Zealand’s endemic fauna including Kiwis, Keas, Kakapo, Tuatara etc. and has worked with the Australasian Swamp Harrier, being one of the few people licensed to fly these birds in the world. He even took a few months out to train vultures for a new business venture in Spain. He recently returned to the UK to take up a full time post at an Oxford college to look after and expand their animal collection and to teach students in the handling and husbandry of these animals including reptiles and amphibians, mammals and birds.
So if you wish to buy an animal from people who really do have the qualifications, experience and expertise to give you the best advice on how to set up an animal’s enclosure and look after it for its lifetime, buying and keeping it in tip top condition; you will not find a team that can compete with Angell Pets. Our range of animals and products covers just about any animal suitable to be kept in captivity and extends to wild birds and wild animals and livestock such as chickens and ducks, goats and horses.
We hope you pop in and see us and once I get all this treatment out of the way I will be back too.
The Angell Pets Team
When we originally opened Angell Pets In 2009 it was in a location with ample FREE parking. This was our first location and so we had no idea how much the provision of this free parking was having on our trade. We knew that we were attracting a wide range of customers. Local foot and cycle traffic from the surrounding estates, customers from other areas of Gloucester and customers from further afield. However what we did not know was how much having the free parking was contributing to this business. When we were forced to move from this location at the end of the lease we found a larger shop close to the city centre but about a 100 yards from a large carpark. This was not free but had lots of spaces.
Moving locations effected our turnover significantly, as we expected it would, reduding it by around 40% in the first month. However, with hard work we were able to drive turnover back up to almost pre move levels over the next 6 months. Then Gloucester City Council, at the behest of the Quays, closed the carpark. The effect was dramatic and overnight. Turnover dropped by over 50% and nothing we could do would drive it back up, including having a FREE local delivery service. We did raise an objection to the closure beforehand but the response from the council was “we have done research and it shows the effect on local business will be negligible”. Well, we did not find a 50% reduction in trade negligible. We made a decision there and then to move again and find a location with free parking. However we were tied into a lease for three years before we could action a break clause so we ran our business on half what we were used to for two and a half years before moving again. We are still feeling the financial fallout from this.
Our new location in Hucclecote has plenty of FREE parking. It is also within walking distance of large residential areas and in a convenient location for access to customers coming from further afield by car or bus. We have been open here for 6 months now and takings have risen every month, without fail, since we opened. We have had a host of customers returning who used to use us but stopped when the carpark near our last shop was closed plus lots of new local customers and even more from other towns such as Stroud, Cheltenham, Hereford, Ross and Worcester. All have indicated that at least part of the reason for coming was ease of access and free parking.
Before writing this I did some research and worryingly, most of the advice councils use to determine parking policy suggests that providing free parking does not boost trade and that charging for parking does! Most also suggests that providing more spaces does not help and some even suggests that providing more spaces and/or free spaces actually drives people away. Well our findings aren’t based on surveys or questionaires but on real experience and data and I can assure the councils that customers don’t like having parking restricted or being over charged and that they really do appreciate having ample spaces offered to them for free.
I would suggest that until councils review the advice they are taking to set parking policy we will continue to see trade driven away from city centres. Great for business like us now though with ample free parking right outside our front door!
The Angell Pets Team
It’s a bit of an odd one this year for Angell Pets as of course the new shop is not open until we have completed the refurbbishment work. This won’t be until the new year now but we are still trading over the telephone and online. Our trading times and deliveries for the Christmase period are below.
Wednesday 20/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Normal delivery schedule
Thursday 21/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Normal delivery schedule
Friday 23/12/17 10:00 -17:00 Delivery to all local areas
Saturday 24/1217 10:00 – 17:00 Order for collection from shop only, no deliveries (for those last minute “Oh, I forgot the dog food!” moments…)
Sunday 24/12//17 CLOSED
Monday 25/12/17 CLOSED (no dleveries)
Tuesday 26/12/17 CLOSED (no deliveries)
Wednesday 27/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Normal delivery schedule
Thursday 28/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Normal delivery schedule
Friday 29/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Normal delivery schedule
Saturday 30/12/17 10:00 – 17:00 Order for collection from shop
Sunday 31/12/17 CLOSED
Monday 01/12/18 CLOSED
Tyesdaty 02/12/18 Back to normal opening times and delivery schedule
A merry Christmas and a happy new year to all our customers and see you all in the new shop in the new year.
The Angell Pets Team
After what seems like forever we have just received the keys to our new premises. Our new Gloucerster pet shop will be in Hucclecote. Unfortunately there is a lot of work to do before we can open the doors to the public, especially since all our contractors are shutting down for Christmas. To speed things along we will undertake as much work as we can ourselves over the holiday period but it is still going to be several weeks before we are ready.
In the mean time you can still take advantage of our FREE local delivery service for all your pet supplies. To order just call us on 01452 501882 or go on line.
Our new premises is at:-
2/3 Glenville Parade, Hucclecote, Gloucester GL3 3ES
We look forward to seeing you soon in our new Gloucester pet shop.
The Angell Pets Team
Angell Pets opened in 2009 with our first Gloucester pet shop in Abbeymead. We were there for five years but unfortunately had to move when our lease expired and our landlord would not renew it (they wanted the premises for their own business). We took this as an opportunity to expand our business by moving to a larger property by the Gloucester Quays that enabled us to further expand our range and add additional services to our Gloucester pet shop, such as boarding for small animals, birds and reptiles. When we moved in there was a large car park 50m away and things looked good for the future growth of our business.
Unfortunately we did not take into account the determination of Gloucester City Council to drive the small trader out of Gloucester in preference to the large out of town developments. The car park was closed 6 months after we moved in, despite the protestations of small businesses such as ours and the immediate result was a loss of 50% of our takings. We have been unable to get this business back and the frequent cry of “isn’t parking rubbish ’round here” has become like finger nails down a chalk board to us. Despite making large changes and reducing our overheads we are unable to sustain these losses so have got to move. It’s a shame because the premises itself was OK, just now in the wrong location and for other reasons too.
In addition to the parking fiasco, there are other reasons to move our Gloucester pet shop. Customers who follow us on Facebook will be aware of the issues we have had over the last three years with the power here. We have a lot of animals that rely on external heat and oxygenation. When the power goes off, it is a major issue for us and we have to do a lot of work keeping the animals safe and well. In addition we cannot trade without power which just adds to the financial pressure on the business. During the worst outage (14 hours), I had to bring up extra heating and insulation for the reptiles and stay at the shop until midnight, manually stirring the fish tanks to keep them oxygenated, all in the dark. It is 2017 for goodness sake and we have had more power cuts than the winter of discontent (yes, I am old enough to remember that).
Another major issue is the council and police’s inability to keep Gloucester City safe. We have had numerous incidents in the shop and in town whilst posting orders. Staff have been verbally and physically abused and threatened. It is unsafe for me to be absent from the premises as we never know when the next moron (or gang of morons!) is going to come in. Staff have been threatened with everything from spitting to having their throats slit. We have seen a woman outside the shop front beaten to the ground and punched whilst still down (losing teeth!) and no action has ever been taken by the police other than to “move them on”, in fact the operator told us that if I went out to the woman’s assistance I would be arrested. I can’t risk the safety of our staff. Also the level of theft is too high for us to sustain here as well.
So enough of the negatives, now the positive. We are moving again in October and it’s closer to our original customer base. The main thing is that there is ample FREE PARKING. Our new premises is likely to be in Hucclecote. The new location of our new Gloucester Pet Shop is ideal to serve our traditional customer base of Abbeymead and Abbeydale, Matson, Upton, Barnwood, Hucclecote, Longlevens, Churchdown and Brockworth. We will of course be maintaining our FREE LOCAL DELIVERY service for our customers in and around Gloucester, in Cheltenham and in Painswick. Of course our UK wide customers will not be affected by the move at all, other than to have wider choice.
So, onward and upward! Come and see us in our new Gloucester Pet Shop when it opens, even if it is just to have a nosey at the new place. It will take a little while to get everything just the way we want it and initially we may be running the two premises at the same time whilst I spend my nights moving fixtures, fittings and stock across.
The Angell Pets Team
Angell Pets Gloucester pet shop has been in business since 2009. In that time there have been several changes made, all to suit our customers, staff, business growth and in one case our landlord. For the first time we are going to make a small change just to suit me, although it will be at a time that will have no impact on our customers.
For the past two years, since George left to work in New Zealand and around the world I have been covering the weekends he used to work. This means I have been working seven days a week and five evenings a week without any time off at all (I can’t count Christmas day and boxing day as I still come to the shop to feed and check on the animals). To make matters worse, despite what I try to tell myself, the number that is given as my age is only going up. What I am trying to say, without admitting it is that I am getting older!
Recent events at the shop, such as the all day power failure that resulted in me having to be here until after midnight, planned outages meaning I have had to come in early have just highlighted the fact that there is no more of me to go round. Add to that the other duties on me to maintain the business – distributing leaflets in the morning before the shop opens, delivering customer orders in the evening and I have no time left to do anything at home or just to have a rest now and then.
So I have decided to make a small change to the opening times to allow myself some time to spend at home maintaining that and to do anything else that needs to be done whilst other businesses are open (such as visit the dentist). I have chosen a time that should not effect any of our customers in the slightest. It is the quietest time in the shop of the whole week, a time we normally use to clean out the mammals (which we can easily do later) and one where we do not receive deliveries from our suppliers.
With immediate effect we will be closing on Monday mornings and not opening until 1pm. This way we can still take orders for delivery on Monday evening as usual. This just allows me some time to myself to do everything that needs to be done outside of work.
Apologies in advance if this causes any inconvenience but we have looked at customer activity in a lot of detail and I don’t think it will effect anyone but me.
We have been trading for over seven years now and in that time we have seen a lot of abuse aimed at our staff by members of the public. It’s interesting that this abuse is mainly aimed at female members of staff, which I suppose says something about the type of person who behaves in this way. When it is aimed at me it is normally as the person is retreating out the door of the shop, again enough said really.
This abuse takes many forms. It ranges from just plain rudeness, for example where a customer carries on a conversation on their phone (or even carries on playing a game whilst being served) and between sentences throws the money at the assistant and barks “hurry up,” all the way through to, rather more seriously, threats to kill.
Here are a few examples of what staff have had to deal with, sadly there are many more:-
- Calling my wife the C word for not changing a 20p (we were low on change at the time). Not a customer, just some woman who walked in demanding change for some reason. This is quite common.
- Swearing at my daughter because she asked someone not to block the door with his bicycle. He did also swear at me but only after he had cycled off up the road.
- Swearing and being generally abusive to staff because we have been unable to satisfy their demands in some way. For instance, an assistant being unable to give a refund when there was nothing wrong with the product and the person has no proof of purchase from us. If an item has been sold by one person, another member of staff will have no way of telling if the item was bought from us a couple of days later without a receipt. People that have not worked in retail often think that it is unlikely anyone would try to get a refund on a product they didn’t buy in that outlet but actually it happens quite frequently. We have had people demand refunds for products we have never sold in the shop.
- Attempts to con staff out of change with the old “Actually give me that tenner back, I’ll give you twenty, actually no I’ll use the tenner etc.” and then threatening them when the staff member refused to accept they had given the wrong change (we have techniques to combat this common scam, it never works).
- Threats of violence when we have refused to take someone’s unwanted animal or take animals that people have bred and want to sell to us.
- Threats of violence when we have refused to sell animals to people when it is clear that the person has no knowledge of that animal, desire to learn anything about its care or purchase equipment essential to its welfare or even, in some cases, actually tell us beforehand that they intend to give it to their dog to play with!
- Threats of violence when we have refused to sell an animal to people the worse for wear with alcohol. Another common one unfortunately.
- Threats of arson when it became clear that verbal abuse wasn’t having the desired effect.
- Threats to kill (using a knife) when caught in an area they shouldn’t have been in.
- Threats to kill when we refused demands for money.
As normal people can imagine, after a while this sort of behaviour becomes a little wearing so we have a policy of zero tolerance for abuse in all its forms. If someone has an issue with the service or products they have received from us we will of course do our utmost to sort out any problems to our customer’s satisfaction and in fact have a very good record for customer service and rarely have any issues. However, as soon as someone becomes abusive, either verbally or physically, the conversation will be at an end and we will cease to provide any further assistance. The person will also be escorted from the premises (or the phone will be put down – we get abusive calls too) and the police called if threats are made.
It seems a bit redundant to state this policy here as the vast majority of our customers are normal, decent people who would not dream of behaving in this way and the sort of people who would are unlikely to read this post but it needs to be stated for the record.
The Angell Pets Team
The run up to Christmas has begun in earnest and customers are getting their orders in to carry them over the holiday period.
We are getting extremely busy with our FREE local delivery service to Gloucester, Cheltenham and Painswick and will only get busier this week and next. With a few days out for the holidays it means we are cramming more and more deliveries into fewer days.
To avoid disappointment (and running out of pet food over the holidays) please get your orders in as soon as possible. To add to the urgency, some of our suppliers have restricted deliveries to us over Christmas and New Year so the chance of us running out of some of our lines is increased. Nearly all have added at least a day to their lead time to us already and that’s on top of existing days off.
We currently have some space on each nights deliveries but it is getting tight on the more popular nights (Mondays and Fridays) so please book as early as you can.
The Angell Pets Team
Our Gloucester Pet Shop is open right up to Christmas Eve this year as usual. We are only CLOSED for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day, the only three days each year that we are closed.
This year, as Christmas Day falls on the weekend the opening times around the holidays are a little more complex at our Gloucester Pet Shop. Also as we do FREE local deliveries I have included changes to our published delivery schedule over the same period.
Friday 23th December: 10am – 5:30pm (Normal Delivery Schedule. Limited Space So Book Early)
Saturday 24th December: 10am – 5:30pm (NO Deliveries)
Sunday 25th December: CLOSED
Monday 26th December: CLOSED
Tuesday 27th December: 10am – 4pm (NO Deliveries)
Wednesday 28th December: 10am – 5:30pm (Normal Delivery Schedule)
Thursday 29th December: 10am – 5:30pm (Normal Delivery Schedule)
Friday 30st January: 10am – 5:30pm (Normal Delivery Schedule)
Saturday 31st December: 10am – 5:30pm (NO Deliveries)
Sunday 1st January: CLOSED
Monday 2nd January: 10am – 4pm (NO deliveries)
Normal opening times and delivery schedule will continue at our pet shop Gloucester as usual from the 3rd of January 2017.
The Angell Pets Team