CORONAVIRUS has been causing all sorts of chaos and challenges for businesses across the country, but it is not all doom and gloom on the local high street.
In fact, Stalybridge Pets and Aquatics has reported a bump in business since Covid-19 took hold, with increasing footfall from customers shunning major supermarkets.The shop, on Melbourne Street, is well stocked with supplies to cater for all types of animals, from dogs and cats to fresh and saltwater fish, and even equestrian supplies.
Owner Michelle Hennessy believes that the public is turning to local businesses for their everyday essentials as supermarkets struggle to cope with demand for bulk buying.
She said: “We have seen a definite rise in sales in the last few of weeks, ever since a couple of the other pet stores had to shut and the local equestrian supply store closed.
“At the moment, at least, there is plenty of demand for us to stay open and we’ve got great suppliers who we work with and they have been fantastic in keeping us well stocked.
“We have had to reduce our hours and implement a social distancing policy. We’re only allowing one person into the store at a time to comply with government guidelines, but we’re still very busy.”
With business booming, Michelle says there is no indication that the store will need to close but she is hoping that residents will continue to support local businesses even after coronavirus has gone.
And with April kicking off National Pet Month, animal lover Michelle is hoping to mark the occasion in some way, though she admits she will have to play it by ear.
She continued: “We had hoped to do something for National Pet Month but with the current situation, plus the increased business, we’ve not had much time to think about it.“But we will try to get our heads together at some point to see if we can come up with something for the occasion. At the moment, we’ll have to keep weighing things up.
“Business-wise, it’s a case of so far so good but looking at the bigger picture the town centre is very quiet because a lot of businesses have had no choice but to temporarily close.
“We have noticed a lot of new faces at the shop with people shying away from supermarkets, and I just hope that they continue to shop with us even after everything goes back to normal.”
• If you’re struggling to find what you need for your animal friends during lockdown, visit Stalybridge Pets and Aquatics or give them call on 0161 338 3990.
You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching Stalybridge Pets and Aquatics.