‘Shop local and look after the small businesses’ urge Chatteris pet shop owners

Pets Pantry in Chatteris has warned it faces closure if the community fails to continue supporting l

Pets Pantry in Chatteris has warned it faces closure if the community fails to continue supporting local businesses. Pictures: Pets Pantry - Credit: Archant

The owners of a Chatteris pet shop have warned it faces closure if business doesn’t pick up in the near future.

Phil Green and his partner Helen Browne own Pets Pantry in the High Street and have urged customers to “shop local and look after the small businesses” during the pandemic.

In a plea over Facebook, they also ask people to give them a chance to order anything not in stock rather than drive out of town or look elsewhere to get it.

It said: “Unfortunately we are having to put this out there.

“Due to coronavirus business has gone very quiet. For the number of pets in Chatteris we should be a lot busier than we are.

“Totally understand everyone is on a budget whether it’s a small or large budget but unfortunately a lot of people haven’t stayed loyal to the small business despite us delivering during coronavirus.

“If we don’t stock it we always try our best to get it for you. Some don’t give us the chance to order in, some prefer to drive out of town to get it, some are absolutely fantastic and come here first.”

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It continued: “Shop local and look after the small business. Unfortunately, unless more don’t start using us we will have to close the shop doors...

“We thank and appreciate the customers that have stayed loyal and regular and continued to use us after lockdown.”

Phil read the message to his regular customers to gauge their reaction before posting it.

He said: “I’m really hoping the post worked, not just for us but for the small local businesses in Chatteris and other towns as well.

“It’s really a wakeup call for the community to know that we won’t survive if things continue to be this quiet.

“We’ve found that during lockdown we were busy and serving many new customers with our free delivery service.

“But when everywhere re-opened many haven’t returned, they hadn’t stayed loyal which is a real shame. We still offer free delivery for orders over £5 - but they haven’t come back.”

He added that while Pets Pantry cannot compete with prices of large chains or the convenience of supermarkets, its personal service and specialist products are popular.

For example, its bird feed and natural dog food are among its best sellers.

“We’re determined to keep going and will try our best to get through this,” he said.

Pets Pantry has been on the High Street for 15 years. Phil and Helen have owned the business for three years.