North Wales retail chain PetPlace says it has introduced ‘cutting-edge’ social distancing and safety measures to ensure the wellbeing of its team and customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The retailer is the first in the UK to install (at its Abergele store) Record – an automated system that controls the numbers of customers in the store and allows a shopper to enter only when someone has exited the building.
It means staff can be on hand to greet their customers and help to explain the new measures in-store and support people as they shop. A play park, coffee bar and cinema for dogs is currently closed due to covid-19.
Managing director Sion Pritchard said Farm and Pet Place stores in Chirk, Ruthin, Mold and Llangefni are also open for business, with restrictions, and the click and collect service is also still available.
The reopening follows a £1m loan from Lloyds bank and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme after PetPlace successfully scaled up its online and click and collect service to handle a 600% rise in demand.
“We have been in operation throughout the lockdown period, safely managing to provide customers with essential pet food and supplies through our online platforms and click and collect,” said Sion.
“As we have phased in the reopening over the past few weeks, there has been significant investment in bringing about measures that ensure the safety and wellbeing of people entering and leaving the store, and while shopping.
“Our personal services such as harness fitting and the self-service dog wash are still closed, but we are otherwise fully operational with strict distancing measures in place.”
PetPlace is limiting the number of customers in the store at any one time and flow of traffic will be redirected by staff when necessary, to avoid congestion.
A hygiene station is situated near the entrance to encourage the use of hand sanitiser, trolleys will be disinfected after every use and high contact areas will be cleaned hourly. Customers are being encouraged to shop alone where possible and to not bring their pets on to the premises for the time being.
There is also a new, safer way of paying at the till. People are being asked to deposit their trolley and then step back while items are scanned safely, and only card payments are being taken.
Sion said: “We look forward to welcoming customers back to our stores and please ask them to adhere to the new rules for their safety and that of our team.”