IN A year when most businesses are struggling to make ends meet, an Ilminster store has doubled in size by moving into the empty unit next door.
PAWS Pet Supplies Shop has been in the downtown area for over two decades.
Earlier this year, the town’s RNLI fundraising shop was forced to close after director Joan Olds passed away.
Along with her husband Jim, Joan had raised over £ 1million for the charity during her 30 years behind the counter.
Andrew Broom, the owner of PAWS, said: “It’s a shame Joan has passed away and no one can take on the RNLI Shop.
“We’ve had the store for 25 or 26 years and we always thought the city needed a bigger pet supply store.
“There are a lot of new things we are able to offer now – more things like fish and reptiles, dog and cat bedding, transport baskets and cages, and more.
“It was a very good reaction. We are delighted with the way people accepted it.”
For years, Andrew and his team have provided deliveries to locals, which has proven to be a lifeline for people and their pets during the lockdown.
Andrew added: “We still make deliveries, around 50 to 150 per week, to a very large catchment area – from Yeovil to Taunton, from Axminster to Somerton.
“We found that although the blocks were applied, people have more deliveries, and we have had a lot of people who contacted for deliveries who then stayed with us because they were able to get into the store more. late. We don’t have a minimum order, and the delivery charge is only £ 1. ”
In addition to providing the pet supplies, Andrew’s sister has a dog grooming business based out of the back of the PAWS store that is still operating.
“Even during the lockdown, Tracy was able to continue doing this.
“The dogs come into our store and we have a separate grooming area where my sister works.
Andrew was very moved that the city accepted their expansion and also wants to attract more people to the heart of Ilminster for the other stores.
“We were all born and raised in Ilminster, and we don’t just want our store to perform well, but the whole town to thrive too,” he said.
“While everyone seems to want to raise their prices, we are always trying to lower them, so we are not only competing with the internet, but we are beating it.”