With new local and statewide social distancing orders in place across the region, Mid-South business owners are working to adjust quickly while continuing to serve customers' needs.
On March 27, Memphis-based Hollywood Feed announced two services to help pet owners care for their animals in the midst of the pandemic.
The natural and holistic pet care store has launched a new curbside pickup. It's also made same-day delivery free through April 30 and extended delivery areas.
“We've always believed in doing what's right by our customers, our community, and our employees,” said Shawn McGhee, president and co-owner of Hollywood Feed, in a press release.
The retailer is waiving its standard $5.95 delivery fee for all same-day delivery orders and expanded delivery boundaries to as far as ten miles from each location. Same-day delivery is now available seven days a week. Orders placed between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. will be delivered in an hour or less.
“As the world copes with the impact of the coronavirus, we’re trying to still prioritize the well-being of pets and the people that depend on us,” Jean McGhee, Hollywood Feed's co-owner and senior buyer, told High Ground.
The McGhees rolled out same-day service on a trial run in September 2018 with Memphis as the testing ground. Customers loved it so much they launched it full time in April 2019.
Now that social distancing is a priority, they see same-day delivery and curbside pickup as necessary accommodations for the well-being of all customers and staff.
Stores are stepping up safety procedures to further protect staff and customers. Stores are being cleaned on the hour and new handling practices are in place for any returns. In-store events have also been cancelled.
A Hollywood Feed staff member at the Broad Avenue location makes a curbside delivery. The new curbside pickup service launched on March 27 in response to social distancing recommendations for COVID-19. (Hollywood Feed)
STARTING IN NORTH MEMPHIS
Hollywood Feed opened its first pet supply store in the 1950s on the corner of Hollywood Street and Chelsea Avenue in the Hollywood area of North Memphis.
Since then, the company has grown to include more than 100 stores across 14 states, but it still calls North Memphis home. It's headquarters are now located at 1341 Warford Street in the Douglass area.
Related: "More than retail, Hollywood Feed helps animals in need"
The McGhees took over the store's operations in 2006 and moved its corporate headquarters from Binghampton back to North Memphis in 2017. The move helped to better accommodate their distribution operations and brought them closer to their roots.
“That’s our [neighborhood]. That’s our history,” said McGhee. “It’s kind of a full circle that we’re back right around the corner from Chelsea.”
The move also contributed more than 40 new jobs to the neighborhood and over one million in new business taxes. Many employees live within walking and biking distance.
Jean McGhee said the business is weathering the pandemic thanks to online sales and customer's response to their curbside pickup and same-day deliveries.
“Right now, we’ve been able to not have to lay anyone off. That’s a great privilege to be able to still pay our people so they can provide for their families,” said McGhee.
McGhee said they are thankful Mid-Southerners are sticking with them and grateful Hollywood can keep its stores open, especially when neighboring businesses may have closed.
“I never imagined how grateful I’d be to the city of Memphis for the support they’ve given Hollywood Feed,” said Jean McGhee. “Our Memphis customers are the ones that we’ve had the longest and they’re the most loyal.”