Like all of you, we are trying to navigate these uncertain and changing times and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all what we have been doing and our future plans. Our priority is and will continue to be the wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and of course, our nations’ pets.
Please know that we are taking the right steps to keep everyone safe. We have increased our already diligent cleaning routines and for the time being, we have paused some of our instore events and services that require close contact. I’m hugely grateful that our colleagues in stores, vet practices, distribution centres and our offices have been fantastic and continue to be committed and passionate about supporting our pet and owner community.
We exist to help pets, now more than ever. So, we are open, and we plan to stay open.
Like everybody else, we are dealing with a new phenomenon and we are reacting as best as we can. This means we have placed sensible buying levels on key items to ensure as many customers as possible can get the items they need. We are in constant contact with our brilliant suppliers, with whom we are working hard behind the scenes to increase production of pet food and other essential items. We have frequent deliveries to stores, so if everyone buys just what they need, we will have enough stock. We have also dramatically ramped up our online ordering and home deliveries across the UK, which means our lead times are a little longer than usual.
Our colleagues make us special. We are doing everything we can to help them continue to serve you, whilst keeping everyone safe. We will continue to pay all colleagues their normal pay if they need to self-isolate or are in a high-risk group. We have also committed a £1 million fund to support any colleagues who experience financial hardship. We are recruiting new colleagues to keep up with demand.
Our Petcare Community
At Pets at Home Group we have a long tradition of supporting local and national animal charities and we will continue to support them during these uncertain times. As well as working locally we have created an emergency fund of £500,000 in addition to the £12 million we have already raised this year, to be used by rescues who are struggling to feed the pets they are caring for.
As for you and your pet, our vet partners and colleagues are dedicated to supporting you. Here are a few ways you can help:
• Please don’t call unless it is urgent – check our website first for opening hours, tracking a parcel or for general advice. We update it regularly.
• Download the VIP club app - it means you don’t need to carry your VIP card and we will place all your vouchers on here as well. It’s the quickest way to find out opening hours for your local store, plus we can send instant messages to keep you up to date.
• Forgive us if we don’t have your product in stock - we are getting deliveries all the time and we can help you find an alternative.
• Understand our people are working flat out to help you. A smile and kindness goes a long way for a colleague who is doing their best to help.
For now, if I leave you with one message, it’s that we are with you, your pet and your family. All of you. We’re all pet parents ourselves here and we’re in this with you.
Please look after yourselves, and let’s look after our pets together.
Pets at Home Group CEO