Norman and Glen Winter are a father-and-son team who own Our Pets in Norwood: a specialist pet retail store selling animals from reputable breeders. They also offer grooming, holiday boarding for certain animals and aquarium and pond maintenance services.
We bought Our Pets Edenvale in the early 2000s after it had been in business for decades. We then opened our Norwood branch in 2009 after six months of planning and preparation.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
We had been approached by the owner of the building to consider opening a second store in Norwood. We have a culturally diverse client base, which reflects the makeup of the immediate and surrounding areas.
How did you find your premises?
After much consideration of the area, we decided that the store offered to us would be a perfect location to conduct business from. Our corner is one of the busiest in the area in terms of vehicles passing, and we have displays of kennels and cages (but not animals) out on the pavement so that passing drivers can see us.
It’s a very large space, which allows us to display all our stock as well as provide separate areas for the different types of pets. We can also utilise space as we need it because most of the shop fittings can be moved around easily to accommodate new or different stock.
Who are your neighbours?
Just around the corner is an amazing little coffee bar. We have negotiated a good deal for the owner to supply our customers in the store with a cup of coffee while they wait for their dogs to be groomed or for their tanks to be set up. On the other side is a small phone accessories store.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
Shops in the area come and go all the time. I’d imagine it’s all relative to each person’s industry.
On weekdays usually between 40 and 50, and over the weekends, upwards of 200 people in total.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We are always looking for ways to expand our business. Future plans include another go at our online operation and a new division within our existing aquarium and pond maintenance division.
Do you operate online as well?
We used to, but the viability and sustainability of the previous website didn’t work out as planned. We are planning to have our new one up and running in the near future.
What’s your most popular item?
It’s difficult to pick out one specific item as our most popular, because each section provides equally well to the business as a whole. Because of the nature of this type of business, there are also seasonal fluctuations across our range of stock.
011 483 3536
Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Ter Hollman