Location: Mochdre, Conwy
Programme: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Although the government shutdown had a severe effect on footfall throughout Pet Place’s five physical stores, its online business was a different story altogether. A sudden 600 per cent increase in orders meant the company had to change its operating model, and to do that required funding via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Read what the business had to say in this CBILS case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Sion Pritchard, managing director of Pet Place: Pet Place is a group of five pet supplies superstores across North Wales. As well as selling products that cater to a wide variety of animals, our stores have recently introduced their in-house dog parks, which offer daily play sessions for all sizes and breeds of dogs.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply for CBILS support?
Although the government shutdown of shops and stores meant we experienced a much lower customer footfall for the first few weeks, at the same time we saw a 600 per cent increase in online orders! To cope with that high demand, we had to change our operating model. The CBILS loan allowed us to both ramp up our online activity – relaunching our website and increasing the availability of popular product lines and click-and-collect services – and pay our suppliers swiftly.
Our overall business hasn’t been immune to the economic effects of the pandemic. But with the support of CBILS, we’ve been able to keep our employees safe and our suppliers paid in full.
Sion Pritchard, managing director of Pet Place
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The application process was quick and easy, and that’s down to the support of the team at Lloyds Bank.
How has the CBILS loan helped your business to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received it?
We’ve always designed our online presence to supplement the revenue our physical stores generate, so the sudden and vast increase in online orders presented a major challenge. While we’ve been able to successfully redeploy our resources, we wouldn’t have been able to move so quickly or meet the working capital demands of such an exercise without the emergency funding from CBILS, particularly given the level of investment we’ve put into our stores in the last year.
Our overall business has been by no means immune to the economic effects of the current pandemic but, with the support of CBILS and our lenders, we’ve been able to meet them head on while keeping our employees safe and our suppliers paid in full.