Vital Pet Group has announced an extension of its Lifeline Fund until October, in line with the government’s furloughing arrangements.
The Fund offers customers of the wholesaler an opportunity to extend their credit terms with the company to help them through a difficult period of trading as a result of COVID-19. However, the wholesaler also said that there is evidence that brighter times are ahead for the independent sector and it is already starting to stock new lines.
Heather McManus, Vital’s sales and marketing director said she had seen some evidence to support a recent survey that reported that over a third of Brits (36%) are planning to use their local stores more often after lockdown.
She said: “We’re seeing evidence of there having been a slump in grocery in recent weeks with a corresponding increase in people using specialist and independent shops.
“This crisis has helped people focus on the value of local businesses and of course, many people are more comfortable shopping in smaller outlets where it may be easier to adopt social distancing. We hope this is a trend that will help the trade as lockdown restrictions start to ease.”
In a separate announcement, Vital announced that it recently listed leading brands Lily’s Kitchen and Edgar Cooper. It is stocking new lines from Billy + Margot.
Retailers who want to apply to the fund should send their account number to [email protected] and add Vital Lifeline Fund to the subject line. Vital said it aims to review applications and respond in no more than five days.