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Animal & Garden House to close

Moving on: Jennifer McCarron, owner Animal & Garden House, left, and Lucia Bacchetti (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Rising costs and a drop in sales have forced a garden and pet supply store to close, its owner said.

Jennifer McCarron said that Animal & Garden House, on Cemetery Road, Pembroke, would end operations this month. She said that keeping the business open had “become a daily struggle”.

Ms McCarron added: “You’re just pouring out money and there’s no Band-Aid right now to fix it.

“There’s nothing coming down the pipeline to give a boost to the economy. It’s just another family business that’s forced to close its doors.”

Ms McCarron said the store has three employees and that her children often help out as well.

She said that breaking the news to her staff had been hard.

Ms McCarron, who has owned the business since 2009, said she had decided to close a few weeks ago. She said that decision felt like “a huge weight off my shoulders”.

The Warwick resident explained: “You try to find all sorts of ways just to try compete and stay in business.”

However, she said that her business did not have the buying power of her larger island competitions.

Ms McCarron added: “People look at the differences in prices. Our overhead is totally different than theirs.”

She said that a number of factors, including higher rent, bank fees and health insurance, as well as decreased traffic to her store, had led to her decision to close shop.

Ms McCarron added the business had seen a drop in sales for “well over a year”.

She said: “You just don’t see anything in the economy changing. Nothing is coming down the pipeline bringing people to the island — because that’s what we rely on.”

Ms McCarron said that the growth of online shopping had also hit her business.

She said: “It’s such an easier way of shopping these days. People don’t have to leave home any more to do their shopping.”

Ms McCarron said she had mentioned her business closure to David Burt, the Premier, at a meet and greet for constituents held in Warwick at the weekend.

She said that Mr Burt had suggested a future meeting between the two.

But she added: “It’s just too late.

“The wheels don’t work fast enough to make changes.

“The sales decline has gone on for well over a year now.”

Ms McCarron said that she will be looking for a job as of next month.

She added: “Finding jobs out there is another difficult matter.”

The store will have a closing sale on June 30.