Leading UK pet care retailer Pets at Home has unveiled its new ‘Store of the Future’ format in Stockport and Chesterfield – claiming to offer an immersive experience for shoppers, complete with in-store vet practices and groom rooms.
As the retail industry increasingly moves online, Pets at Home is bolstering its bricks and mortar offering with an investment in the consumer experience for pet owners, positioning the business for future growth within the £6.3billion UK pet care market, which continues to show resilience. It also wants to place Pets at Home “at the heart of the community”.
According to the retailer, Pets at Home’s stores are being transformed into innovative ‘pet villages’, featuring dog washing stations, selfie spots and pet care classes. The new format will also see the launch of Pets at Home’s first cat adoption lounge and will work in partnership with the RSPCA to welcome those considering adopting a cat. With all services and products integrated under one roof for the first time, it truly is a one stop shop for pet lovers.
The new stores will also feature dedicated events areas where customers can learn about the importance of dog grooming during a live demonstration, join like-minded owners at the monthly breed socials, or see how fast their dog is on the agility course. Pet owners will also be able to book free food consultations with a nutrition adviser, as well as conducting weight checks for their pets. They can also take advantage of the self-wash station, where they can wash and blow-dry their dogs in the purpose-built facilities – without having to make a mess of the bathroom at home.
Children are also well catered for with an array of interactive child-friendly events – the purr-fect (sorry) chance to educate children on pet care, in a fun and accessible way. Interactive tunnels surround the pet village, where kids can crawl, play and come face to face with small furries. They can even celebrate with a Pets at Home birthday party.
Peter Pritchard, Group CEO, explains the thinking behind the move: “We’ve always known that our stores are much more than just a convenience shop for pets and now we’re providing them with the million-pound makeover they deserve. The store of the future is a destination for all pet lovers to shop, learn and pamper. The retail industry is constantly evolving, and many retailers are only targeting resources towards online platforms. We believe that this competitive landscape requires a combined online/offline offer to ensure the ultimate in convenience and personal service for our customers. Our Store of the Future boosts our offering for pet owners – with people, personality and most importantly – pets – at the centre of our business.”
Image: Pets at Home