Pet store forced to close after two decades
Tough trading conditions have forced the closure of a Dumfries pet store.
Pet’s Paradise is bringing the shutters down for a final time on Friday after 21 years in Friars Vennel.
And owner Kerri-Anne Atkinson, who has managed the shop for 13 years, fears other independent traders will find themselves in the same position.
The 35-year-old told the Daily Record newspaper: “There’s just no footfall any more.
“We used to get a lot of passing trade when the coaches used to stop in the town at the Whitesands. That doesn’t happen any more and we can’t afford to keep it going.”
The shop opened in 1995 and was run by Kerri-Anne’s dad Eric Mallinson and sister Yvonne Atkinson.
Kerri-Anne worked Saturday shifts at the shop at when she was a teenager and has helped sell hundreds of birds, fish, hamsters and mice to pet lovers over the years.
She said: “It was great seeing kids coming in and picking the pet they wanted. I’ll miss that. It’s going to be a massive change.
“It’s the way the rest of the high street is going. I feel the town is lacking in family-run businesses which is a real shame.
“It’s always the big man stomping on the little man. The town’s going to be left with only charity shops, betting shops and hairdressers.
“Tearing up roads and putting down new granite doesn’t bring customers to the door.”
Kerri-Anne thanked her customers for their support over the years. She added: “It will be a sad day when it closes. I’ve got a few of the older customers numbers and I’ll meet up with them when I’m back in Dumfries.”
A council spokesman said: “Factors contributing to a retail business failure often include low footfall and sales, tight margins and the need to meet business overheads including stock and loan repayments rather than the level of rent and rates.
“In the case of a business failure, we would continue to support clients as they liquidate their business, assisting them in preventing the accumulation of debt."