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We are live at @PetFedUK #virtualpetindex conference! If you weren't able to attend this talk on the £131 billion pound #pet industry, you can catch up later in the week when our recording be live on
The death of the #highstreet is not universally applicable. Empty shop fronts range from 5% to circa 30%.

Future of the high street may lie in more residential and entertainment space in the centre of towns, alongside #retail.

Jack Tindale, #retail expert from @Policy_Connect
We need to re-imagine the #highstreet. #Pet businesses can offer a tactile #shopping opportunity that isn't open to other commercial entities

Jack Tindale, #retail expert @Policy_Connect
Natures Menu supply 3,200 #stores.
YOY sales are slightly ahead with a lot of forward-buying in March.

#Petfood is a very robust market. Most #ecommerce sites will have roughly doubled in size due to perceived risk of going #shopping.

Peter Roy @naturesmenu
There is price polarisation in the market between premium (high meat, high nutrition) and basic brands. People will spend as much as they are able.

Peter Roy @naturesmenu
Specialist #petretailers need to offer services which cannot be got online, such as #dog wash or #doggrooming. Innovation in the #retail offering is essential to the survival of #bricksandmortar shops.

Peter Roy @naturesmenu
Sara Pearson, Founder of @wearespider, doesn't believe #petfood has a place in the #highstreet. It is easier to shop online and via subscription. #Socialmedia targeting for customers and driving them to your website is crucial.
Use social and digital channels as your primary means of communication with customers. It is unlikely we will go back to lugging a month's supply of pet home home from the shops. Sara Pearson @wearespider
As we come out of lockdown, today marks the opening of non-essential retail, the Institute of Directors is working with govt to plan how the UK opens for business at a domestic and global level.
Jonathan Geldart, Director General @The_IoD
The last 12 weeks have seen a behavioural change in consumers' online shopping. People have gone virtual and developed a new interactive ability.

Jonathan Geldart @The_IoD
The IoD are pressing the govt to invest in the Final Digital Mile - investing in digital in rural areas.

Jonathan Geldart @The_IoD

#ruralbroadband #ruralbusiness
Will the pet business be recession-proof this time around?

Alison Conley, National Retail Lead for @MHUpdates responds.

As more #retail outlets open, #onlinsales have gone down. Maybe there is a place for the the high street?
Nigel Baker, CEO @PetFedUK adds that some consumers like to try new brands or food types. It isn't easy to do this online. There are also services offered by #petshops that draw customers in - dog walking and pet sales for example.
Sammie @RedpawProducts says customers visit her #petstore because they are aware of the importance of #pet health & nutrition. They want advice on the best food for their pet's specific health requirements. #petowners also opt for frozen or raw foods which cannot be bought online
How can #SmallBusiness owners adapt to digitisation and innovate on the #highstreet?

Jack Tindale @Policy_Connect says that the #retail sector is adapting well. Subscription and delivery of bulky items is convenient. Key strength of a #shopkeep is your knowledge and expertise.
The future of the #highstreet may be more about social interaction than need. The role of #shops and #retailers will be about fulfilling the need for interaction, the ability to seek advice and #companionship rather than the need to purchase goods.

Jonathan Geldart @The_IoD
Alison Conley @MHUpdates & Nigel Baker, @PetFedUK advise #bricksandmortar retailers how to deliver a quality service:

🐩 Personal service
🐩 Chat with customers
🐩 Be part of the local community
🐩 Provide education
🐩 Offer services
🐩 Have pets

#oldfashionedservice #petshop
#mentalhealthisimportant and #pets play a role in good #mentalhealth. Going to #petshops to talk to likeminded people is good for our mental #wellness.

Although, even online, personal service can be delivered with virtual consultations adds @RedpawProducts
Thank you everyone who listened in or followed the live Tweets. We will be posting the video on our website later this week -
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Keep Current with Rural Policy Group

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