Legendary pet store closing as prices spike and punters too ‘scared’ to enter

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A pet store within the South West has been compelled to close its doorways as a consequence of rising prices and “frightened” clients. Fields Pets Centre in St Austell, Cornwall, first opened through the second world conflict again in 1944 and is believed to be the oldest retail retailer within the Cornish city.

Nonetheless, with rising prices and a big drop in its gross sales the present proprietor has made the troublesome to determination to close up store after months of illness and fear. Nigel Parkin, aged 30, purchased the enterprise again in 2021 having had fond reminiscences of working there as a Saturday boy in his teenagers.

Based on CornwallLive, Nigel stated the acquisition – which he made following a “bottle of wine” – was a “dream come true”. However the journey has not been a straightforward one as he cites an increase in anti-social behaviour within the city and ongoing price of residing points as impacting the viability of enterprise.


Nigel says internet buyers are additionally killing off comparable shops and native companies reminiscent of his simply can’t start to compete with the costs provided by the likes of Residence Bargains and B&M. The pet store, which has seen 4 homeowners in 79 years over two areas, was as soon as owned by Trevor Area after which latterly Isabelle Moss.

Nigel took on the enterprise underneath two years in the past as Ms Moss turned unwell and deliberate to shut it down. He stated: “I made a decision to purchase it after a bottle of wine with out trying on the books if I am being trustworthy. “Izzy advised me then it was going downhill, however I would labored within the store for her since I used to be 14 as a Saturday boy and it meant lots to me.”

(Picture: Nigel Parkin/Fields Pet Shops)

The Cornishman, who had additionally labored at Pets At Residence for 5 years, continued: “Final 12 months was an extremely good 12 months for gross sales. I bought much more buyer base and social media actually helped me however this 12 months with the price of residing, commerce has been happening and down.”

He stated it bought to the purpose the place he would put costs up by a small margin however he was nonetheless taking a success as a result of folks merely couldn’t afford larger will increase. “And as we all know everybody can get something from wherever nowadays,” he added. “You may stroll right into a grocery store and get your pet food.”

He stated massive chains providing vastly discounted costs like B&M and Residence Bargains couldn’t be competed with. Nonetheless, he did praised Pets At Residence, saying the St Austell department would typically ship clients his manner.

He stated: “It is all these discounted chains that sadly affect us and on-line is one other massive hit. I am unable to inventory 1000’s of merchandise. Folks need it there after which and Amazon does next-day supply.”

He stated anti-social behaviour in St Austell has additionally performed a component with some clients, particularly the aged technology, having been “too frightened” to go to his store. “Some clients have referred to as as much as order a supply due to that,” Nigel stated. “They simply do not feel protected coming to this finish of city and it is simply unlucky.”

Talking of the monetary challenges he stated simply final month he might solely pay himself £600 in wages regardless of working lengthy hours. “I introduced the closure final Monday as a result of I used to be simply fed up of worrying on the finish of the month the place the cash was coming from,” he defined.

“I needed to get out now earlier than the debt piled. It was sleepless nights and being sick each morning for the final two months.”

An enormous outpouring of assist has are available in for Nigel and Fields Pet Centre up to now week with many sharing their fond reminiscences of the store over time. One stated he might “maintain [his] head up excessive” whereas others stated each he and the shop can be “missed by many”. The store closed its doorways for the final time on Saturday (September 16).

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