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.
The Angell Pets Team