Zooinform interviewed Nina Gogunts, the owner and the CEO of the Zolotaya Rybka (\u2018Goldfish\u2019) company, about the current situation in sales, salesforce motivation in these difficult times, and about her expectations for future developments. Today, Zolotaya Rybka (literally translated as \u2018Goldfish\u2019) business involves manufacturing, wholesale and retail with 32 pet stores in Saint Petersburg.\r\n\r\n\u2013 Nina, how is business? What is going on with sales?\r\nBusiness is according to the situation. Let\u2019s start with the wholesale. The volumes of our nationwide sales have dropped by 70%. Retail sales fell by 30% over the past week. There was a big spike in activity on Friday, March 27th: the consumers were afraid that pet stores would be shut down, so they went stockpiling. The stores were open until the last customer was served. The revenue was on par with the New Year season. In early April, the volume of purchases decreased, and there were two reasons for that. The first, people were less likely to leave their homes and visit stores in general, and the second, their disposable income decreased sharply. Currently, the pet stores sell mostly food. Nobody buys doghouses and fancy beds.\r\n\r\n\u2013 What sales logic is more appropriate for pet stores at the moment of crisis? What tools work better?\r\n\u2013 The most important thing now is proper communication. Goldfish stores are not only retail outlets. Our shop assistants are there to deliver kindness, care, and common sense. This is how the Goldfish training system is built: we focus not solely on sales techniques, but train our staff to communicate with people, pay attention, and develop their empathy.\r\n\r\nFor us every customer is a guest. In Russia, guests always receive special reception. We genetically know how to host them so that they feel comforted. We in Goldfish treat our customers exactly the same way \u2013 now, more than ever. We welcome them, support them, listen to them, talk to them, because they lack decent human interaction during self-isolation. We tell our guests that everything will be fine, so that they can see that we are not giving up. The main thing is we\u2019re openhearted.\r\n\r\nWe all in Goldfish are now people of good will, volunteers, we help each other as much as we can. We have launched a charity campaign in our stores: we give free handouts of Doctor ZOO vitamins that support the immune system of cats and dogs. This week we are giving away vitamins, and we do something else next. Maybe we will give away some food.\r\n\r\n\u2013 What is your sales forecast? What to expect in the nearest future?\r\n\u2013 The forecast is quite pessimistic. I think that a lot of people will lose their jobs and descend into poverty. Not all businesses will be able to give their employees extended paid leave. Many of businesses may go bankrupt. Hoping that our sales will do just fine is straight out wishful thinking. But the pet business is in a better situation than many others. We can at least guarantee our employees a minimum wage. I am immensely grateful personally to Tatiana Katasonova, to Zooinform, to Kirill Dmitriev, Chairman of the Board of Pet Industry Union, and all those who fought alongside for the interests of the pet industry. Thanks to their efforts, pet stores stayed open, and two hundred people in my company and thousands in others have jobs and salaries for the coming months. This is extremely important for the industry!