Let’s talk money…
How many times have you gone shopping only to find that the item you want is on sale for less (or more) in a nearby shop or the next town? It can get frustrating because you don’t know which one is “right” or whether one of them is overpriced.
The answer is that they are all “right”. Well, at least in their own eyes anyway! This is because each shop is free to set, and change, their prices how they like. The manufacturers will give their recommended retail price (or RRP) but the retailer is under no obligation to follow this. The key part of RRP is the word recommended, ie. It’s a suggestion only.
Now, this leads on to another question, namely “do independent retailers always charge more than a large chain store?” Perhaps surprisingly the answer to this is no.
It is true that as a small business we do not have the same buying power as the larger chain stores such as (sssshhh) Pets At Home. But the advantage that we have over them is we have lower overheads such as rent, salaries, electricity etc. All of these costs have to come out of any profits you make from your sales. Again, each shop will know what profit margin they have to achieve to cover all of their expenses. Lower running costs means that margin doesn’t have to be as high. There are certain products that we can’t compete on, but on the whole we are able to offer equivalent if not better prices to our customers.
Over the past six months we have been evaluating where we buy our stock from, and moving suppliers to get better deals. Following on from this we are overhauling all of our prices and, in a lot of cases, making reductions. It might only be a few pence here and there, but for some items it’s by more.
Here’s one example from the small animal section of our shop…. When we went through the prices we compared a few to the aforementioned chain store and a local garden centre. We found that we were already cheaper than both, but we were still able to drop our price a bit further:
Burgess Excel Rabbit Nuggets with Mint 2kg
Pets At Home = £5.99
Garden Centre = £4.99
RRP = £4.80
Herne Bay Pet Shop = £4.60 (new, lower price!)
nb. prices as of Feb 2018
We don’t claim to be cheaper on everything, and there are always going to be occasions where a chain store or supermarket will have a special offer promotion that we can’t match (who hasn’t walked into a supermarket and found Felix cat food on “buy 2 for £6.00”?!). Our ethos is to avoid on/off deals like these but rather to keep our pricing consistent and as low as possible. And, you can be sure that we’ll never be higher than the recommended retail price set by the manufacturer.
Where you choose to ultimately spend your money is up to you – perhaps you will opt for a particular shop because they sell multiple items that you need, or because it’s close to your house, or because you like the personal service that you get there. As a family-run, independent pet shop in the centre of a busy town we hope that we can cover all of this alongside giving good value for your money.