The company is managing to keep afloat for now thanks to a well-established e-commerce platform and continued operations. Georgianna Carlos, Fetch! chief executive, told PET worldwide that sales have slowed down because of the temporary closure of many of its distribution channels stemming from a month-long lockdown on the island of Luzon, the Philippines' biggest island and home to half of the country's 100 million population. The lockdown came into effect on 16 March. Metro Manila, the regional capital and the area that is hardest hit by Covid-19 in the country, is in Luzon.
Multiple sales channels
Fetch! normally sells its products through multiple channels: on its official website, in bricks-and-mortar stores around the country and through resellers. They are also sold through e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, Beauty MNL, Karton and Lococo.ph. But with the implementation of the so-called enhanced community quarantine, many of Fetch!'s distribution channels were temporarily shuttered in line with the closure order on business establishments that are deemed "non-essential". The Fetch! e-commerce platform, however, was allowed to continue its operations because one of the company's products, the Home Cleaner -- which aims to keep the pet environment clean -- was classified as an essential item.
"(Sales) did go down since we used to have a lot more channels, but we are still able to do business. I think it's fortunate we prioritised creating our website as an e-commerce site/going digital since the beginning. Office staff are also able to work from home, too," Georgianna Carlos said.
The company's production of existing and new product lines is currently suspended, but the CEO said that Fetch! has enough inventory for Luzon at the moment, "because orders are fewer and are being conducted through limited, online channels," she said. "Since this is our reality, we also won't be able to reach customers from provinces outside Luzon since our office and warehouse are located in Metro Manila." She said the company shipped its products to provinces outside Luzon earlier in the year after it entered into a supply agreement with a major player in the Visayas and Mindanao - the two other island groupings in the Philippines - but the products could not get through to the distributors. "Unfortunately, the products are stuck in the warehouse or port areas," she said.
While no island-wide lockdown has been declared over Visayas or Mindanao, local…