Cost of living crisis: Owners of Dofos, Edinburgh’s oldest pet shop, speak out on rising costs

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Edinburgh brothers Ross and Craig Davidson, who took over the family business in 2015, said they had been predicting rising costs for more than a year but, despite this, some of their prices inevitably had to rise .

Third-generation pet store owners said they take pride in their quality organic pet products business, often purchasing inventory from small, local businesses that have all had to raise prices over the past year.

Brothers Craig (left) and Ross Davidson in their new Gyle boutique which officially opened last weekend.

Craig Davidson, 27, told the Evening News: ‘We used to see a price increase every March and that was normal across the industry.

“Now we see them every month or every two months. And you know that’s not a profit because some brands are pricing themselves out of what I would say affordable.

Craig said energy costs are now roughly double what they were this time last year and bills for fridges, freezers and the cost of running grooming equipment for dogs were “crazy”.

Describing current energy costs, Craig said “they are crazy”. He said: ‘We’ve built the business by selling the best, and we think raw food is often the best for your dog or cat – but those are kept in ‘power zappers’.

Dofos is proud to sell quality organic pet food.

“We had to do a 10% price increase for dog grooming. We are still competitive but we had to do it, it was not something we wanted to do.

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The Davidson brothers said they decided to sell their van after soaring gas prices and found it more profitable to use a courier service. Soaring petrol prices have also forced consumers to spend £50 instead of £20 to get free delivery to make the scheme profitable.

But the enterprising brothers said if they hadn’t taken action earlier last year, some of their products would be even more expensive.

Ross, 31, said: “When we saw an increase in costs, our priority was to maintain product quality, but to ensure that we could still reach our customers if the cost of living increased.

“It’s been a real struggle for us to find good products at the right prices.”

Craig said: “Over the past year, we’ve started buying our natural treats by shipping container simply because the prices sometimes go up every month. We bought in bulk for a year and that allowed us to hold stock at a price we knew we could keep selling it at.

Ross added: “I think we are lucky to have loyal customers. The price increases were retrospective of running costs, but we never really felt the big pinch. It’s significantly more, but it’s proportional to product prices now.

Dofos Pet Store was founded by their grandparents in 1953, with their flagship store located just off Leith Walk on Blenheim Place.

After taking over in 2015, the brothers continued to grow the business, opening four branches across the city, including a new branch in the Gyle three months ago.


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