A business that had just started to expand at the start of the pandemic begged customers to show up for appointments.
James Worman-Blackburn runs PJ Pet Supplies and Wag ‘n Wash in West Earlham and fights with four-legged friends who don’t show up for dates.
The 29-year-old said the problem was exacerbated by shoppers moving to larger stores open during the lockdown.
He said: “Every time a dog doesn’t show up it affects us badly.
“Sometimes people have to isolate themselves, which is absolutely right. But sometimes they just don’t show up because they are taking advantage of last minute vacation bookings.”
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He said he didn’t want to take deposits because, in his experience, “customers don’t like to pay up front and not receive anything right away.”
As a result, he sees five or six no-shows or cancellations per week.
He added: “The problem is, the company’s bills have gone up, and every no-show affects my business because we still have to cover the salaries of the incoming staff.”
He wants to encourage everyone to buy from local small businesses because they are struggling.
During the pandemic, James was unable to get time off or universal credit because her husband was on leave.
He said: “We were open less than a year before the pandemic and I won’t lie, it’s in trouble.
“Shopping small will also help people like me rebuild their businesses. ”
He attributes this to people turning to supermarkets when everything else was closed.
“We are not always able to offer the best deals or stock a wide range, but we do our best.
“Department stores that sell things at super low prices have an impact on the industry and small stores like mine find it hard to be taken seriously,” he said.
He added that another problem is that wholesalers require a minimum order of £ 1,000 of stock per month, but sometimes the company doesn’t even take that much.
He said: “I really urge people to buy local, it can help keep someone’s dreams afloat.
“We just want to be taken as seriously as department stores.”
Follow James’ grooming services and shops on Facebook at wagnwashnr5 and pjpetsuppliesnr5