As states scramble to clamp down on non-essential social interactions — and by extension, non-essential business operations — pet supply stores have been a point of contention and confusion. Media reports indicate after a concerted effort last week by pet industry leaders to exempt pet retailers from mandatory closures, at least 17 states have heeded that call.
Nonetheless, as shoppers are discouraged from leaving their house, retailers are reminding patrons that many of them have always had online sales and curbside pick-up services. It’s a message more pressing now than ever as brick and mortar stores also navigate around existing competition from online retailers like Amazon and Chewy.com, both of which have their own operational issues leading to delivery delays.
Stores like Pet Supplies Plus are reporting an uptick in customers opting to do curbside pick-up to limit social interactions.
“It’s actually been up and running for nearly a year now, but it hasn’t been quite as popular until this happened,” Jennifer Chudy, the team leader a Michigan store told WWMT.
In Washington state, Mud Bay has likewise been promoting curbside pick-up on its website. Nationally, PetSmart is among many retailers both within and outside the pet industry reassuring customers of careful sanitizing processes in stores to ensure safety. It has also debuted curbside services this week.