Celebrating 10 Years in Service

  • November 05, 2009
  • By VetShopAustralia.com.au

10 years!  It can just go by in a flash, can’t it? 

Our lives were different 10 years ago.  When Mark and Steven founded VetShopOnline 10 years ago, their families comprised just them and their wives and a handful of young pets (in Mark’s case, Pearl the Labrador, Jake the Irish Wolfhound Cross and Lokki, the Clinic Cat, for Steven, a young Cavalier King Charles Puppy named Poppy).   In what seems like only a heartbeat, Mark and Steven have seen their families, and their businesses grow. They have 6 kids between them, Pearl, Jake and Lokki are in the great pet playground in the sky and Poppy is a geriatric old lady with arthritis!

It’s hard to remember that, 10 years ago, the Internet and computer didn’t play the dominant role in our lives that they do now.  We didn’t tell our friends what we were doing each day (or minute) on networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, our cars didn’t have television screens or GPS, we had VCRs and couldn’t imagine MP3 players replacing the Discman! And home internet access was just taking off, as more and more people accessed the Internet for fun and for personal convenience.

VetShopOnline (now VetShopAustralia for our Australian customers) was born during a long lazy summer Perissinotto family lunch in 1999. Mark and Steven spoke about the internet, and how it would change lives.  Mark, a veterinarian, believed that e-commerce and the internet would change shopping habits, and that people would prefer not to take time out of their precious weekends to visit the vet to merely buy products for their animals. From those initial thoughts, VetShopOnline was created!  VetShop took its first order in November 1999, and is now celebrating 10 years of service to animal lovers around the world.

The business started small.  Initially, operations were conducted from a room within Mark’s vet clinic. The best advertising for the fledgling business was word of mouth, and it seemed that every happy customer told at least 3 friends – in a short time, the number of orders had tripled, and VetShop grew quickly, resulting in a move to purpose built facility on the Sunshine Coast. Growth has continued and this year, we’ve moved again in to bigger, more efficient premises.

VetShop has also benefited from exposure in the local and national press, with articles recommending the store in magazines ranging from Business Review Weekly, and the New Idea to the Readers Digest and newspapers including the Sydney Morning Herald, and our “local rag” the Sunshine Coast Daily. We have also benefited from strong government support including being reviewed in the Austrade and Australia Post Annual Reports.  Mark was even featured in a national advertising campaign by Australia Post.

Like lots of people our age, we refuse to grow old gracefully and our business has had quite a few “face lifts” over the years.  We do a lot of online shopping ourselves, so we do try and constantly improve! In our 10th year, we felt delighted that our hard work was acknowledged when  we received the First Annual Online Retailer of the Year Award from the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association.

However, some things at VetShop haven’t changed, despite the growth of the business.  Lots of the VetShop staff have been with the company since the very early days – like Robyne, now dispatch manager, whose daughter was once Mark’s veterinay nurse, and who started with us packing and shipping products 7 years ago.We pride ourselves on being a friendly place to work,  with lots of the staff bringing their pets to work with them. We even give “carers leave” to allow staff to take time off to care for ill pets! 

Thank you for being part of the last 10 years at VetShopAustralia – we certainly couldn’t have done it without you!

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