'Turn up!' Groomer's plea to no-show pet owners
- Credit: Wag 'N' Wash Pet Grooming
A business which had just begun to grow at the onset of the pandemic has pleaded with customers to show up for appointments.
James Worman-Blackburn runs PJ Pet Supplies and Wag 'n Wash in West Earlham and is struggling with some four-legged friends not appearing for appointments.
The 29-year old said the problem has been exacerbated by shoppers switching to bigger stores which were open during lockdown.
He said: “Every time a dog doesn’t show, it affects us badly.
"Sometimes people have to isolate which is absolutely fair enough. But sometimes they don’t show because they are taking advantage of last-minute holiday bookings.”
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He said he doesn't want to take deposits because in his experience “customers don’t like paying money upfront and not receiving anything straight away".
As a result he's seeing five or six no-shows or cancellations a week.
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He added: "The problem is the company's bills have gone up, and every no show affects my business as we still have to cover the wages for staff who come in."
He wants to encourage everyone to shop from small, local businesses because they are struggling.
During the pandemic, James was unable to get furlough or Universal Credit because his husband was on furlough.
He said: "We'd been open less than a year before the pandemic and I won't lie, it's struggling.
“Shopping small will also help people like me rebuild their businesses.”
He puts this down to people turning to supermarkets when everything else was closed.
“We aren’t always able to offer the best deals or stock a huge range but we try our best.
“Big shops who sell things very cheaply is impacting the industry and small shops like mine are struggling to get taken seriously,” he said.
He added that another issue is wholesalers demanding a minimum order of £1,000 worth of stock a month, but that sometimes the company doesn't even take that much.
He said: "I'd really urge people to shop local, it can help keep somebody's dreams afloat.
"We just want to be taken as seriously as the big shops."