Pet store struggles to recover business as COVID-19 pandemic eases in China
By Michelle Xing
The coronavirus has brought many businesses in Beijing to a halt, including the pet care industry. Now as they gradually reopen and people's lives slowly getting back to normal, cat beauty shops and hotels are finally seeing some new fluffy friends looking to get a beauty makeover.
"We haven't washed and groomed her for two months. She's really dirty from going into corners in my house. Now we can finally get her to take a bath with the coronavirus under control," a cat owner told CGTN.
Le Qian, CEO of cat shop Maotuotuo, told CGTN that there has been a surge in the number of customers looking for grooming services since mid-March – around three to four times as many as in the month before.
But for the other part of the business – the pet boarding services – there are still hardly any new customers.
"Our boarding services booking went down 50 percent due to the pandemic, most people canceled their travel plans so they don't need to board their cats anymore. Most cats that we have here are from owners that haven't come back to Beijing yet," Le said.
The sharp drop in travel has exerted a huge impact on small businesses like this. The owner said before Beijing lifts the 14-day quarantine rule, there will be very few people traveling out of town and she will have to change her business model to survive.