PLC is the largest pet care retail chain in Southeast Asia.
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Pet Lover's Centre (PLC)

"The pet industry's landscape could change"

PET worldwide describes how Singaporean pet retailer Pet Lover's Centre (PLC) is coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.
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"We have stepped up the cleaning of our stores, warehouses and delivery fleet in furtherance of and adherence to the health and hygiene standards set by national and international authorities. Our employees have also been included in our ongoing efforts to follow such standards when it comes to your health and safety and theirs," the company said.PLC requires its staff to undergo daily temperature checks when they report for work; to see the doctor when they feel unwell; to wash hands frequently with soap and water as well as using hand sanitiser on the premises; and to declare their health and travel status. The staff has also been prevented from travelling with effect from 23 March.To promote social distancing, PLC has marked spots at each retail store's checkout to ensure that shoppers maintain a distance of one metre from each other. It has also limited the number of shoppers in the stores to ensure adequate distancing. PLC said it cleans areas with high human contact twice a day and instructs that people wear face masks during peak periods when required.Karen Koh, who is in charge of marketing and communications at PLC, told PET worldwide that in Singapore, the company's brick-and-mortar stores have been affected by safety measures imposed by the island state's government to contain Covid-19. But its e-commerce site has been seeing an increase in purchases. Bestsellers have been dry pet food, canned food, treats and sanitary products such as pee pads and litter, she explains. Other services such as PLC's online pet care consultancy service that gives vet-trained advice and its on-call delivery service have also been indispensable given the restrictions imposed on movement, Koh says. Inventory is "manageable for now," and the company does not foresee a lack of supply. "We do not see a shortage at this present moment as we usually have a holding of several months on our retail front and warehouse altogether. Our overseas suppliers remain open as for now with limited production and we will be planning according to a longer production time frame," she stresses. Koh acknowledges that the pet supplies trade is entering uncharted waters with the Covid-19 crisis but says that PLC does not see demand for pet perishables waning. "We believe the impact on trade is more on the supply side than on the demand side," she says. She adds that depending on how long the crisis lasts, the pet industry's landscape could change.
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