It all started with two brothers…and their passion for pets. The brothers were David and Robert Ng,and the year was 1973, when pet ownership was not as widespread as it is today. Back then, pet shops hardly existed. It was also a time when food scraps were considered proper meals for pets in Singapore. But over in the West, pet owners were already feeding their pets with food that was manufactured under strict conditions, and infused with nutrients that were specially catered to pets. The Ng brothers’ passion for pets was borne out of living with their father in a farm with all sorts of pets and animals.
The Ng brothers shared a common dream – to open Singapore’s first shop that offered everything a pet could ever need. It’s a little known fact that they actually started off wholesaling, and then later switched to retailing when the demand for pet–related retail services swelled, and there was a lack of consumer choices in the market. In fact, this switch was the turning point that set their trajectory to retail success.
It was after much time and money had been invested, that they were ready to open their first shop. And even before opening day, it had already created a stir, especially after its “Opening soon” sign was put up during renovation. Immediately, pet owners and suppliers alike asked excitedly, “when??” Indeed, when the Ng brothers’ first shop opened, it was an instant hit. That shop, which took Singapore by storm, still stands today, in Shaw Centre along Scotts Road.
Back in those days, pet product innovation was in its infancy, so the Ng brothers took it upon themselves to undertake their own R&D like a true hobby business. They adapted products originally meant for humans, like turning car cushions into cat baskets, and household carpet into scratch pads for cats. Even so, Singaporeans were blown away by the luxury. The shop also scored many “firsts”; first to import dry, extruded dog food, first to sell anti flea and tick shampoo, first to sell nutritional supplements for pets, and first to supply dry dog food to Singapore’s police and army dog units.
When it came to naming their shop, the name, “Pet Lovers Centre”, came up naturally, and was decided upon unanimously, as they felt there was no better way to reflect the passion that sparked the business.
And that was how Pet Lovers Centre was born.
But who would have known that two decades on, history would repeat itself, in the form of two young and intrepid Ng brothers David and Whye Hoe, who brought Pet Lovers Centre into the new millennium.
The rest, as they say, is history.