One common complaint doing the pet shop rounds at the moment is internet retailers who can apparently sell bulk feed at very competitive prices and provide free next-day delivery. I have spoken to more than a few retailers who have lost out to such websites, some of whom are quoting delivered prices that in some instances come very close to or even undercut our own wholesalers! One retailer confided to me that he had been hit so hard by this competition that his wholesaler was considering cutting his price band as his overall spend was affected. Looking round price comparison websites for the parcels delivery industry, the cheapest I can send a 15k bag is £5.95 plus VAT. So how do these guys make a margin? Yes, I know the answer some will give is don’t compete on price alone, sell higher margin specialist lines but at the end of the day food is a basic product that customers buy all the time and when they are in the shop for food that’s when they buy the treats and toys. If they don’t come in for food then how long before they forget the local pet shop exists? I am all in favour of open and fair competition but a level playing field helps.