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Pets at Home and Bonmarché update investors on their digital progress

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Pets at Home and Bonmarché were among the IRUK 500 retailers that issued updates on their digital and financial progress this week.

Pets at Home said on Wednesday that omnichannel retail had helped it to grow its revenues in the first quarter of its financial year.

The multichannel pet food and accessories specialist, which is ranked a Model retailer in Internet Retailing research the IRUK 500, today said in a first quarter trading statement that omnichannel services, such as click and collect, helped to drive like-for-like sales growth of 1.7%, compared to the same quarter last year. Total group revenue came in at £224.2m in the 16 weeks to July 16, of which £200.7m, came from retail merchandise and £23.5m from services.

Pets at Home said that during the quarter more than 40% of online transactions were collected in its stores. Meanwhile its omnichannel VIP loyalty club now has 3.6m members, more than 400,000 up compared to the last year-end. The loyalty card is linked to 67% of revenues, up from 65% in the fourth quarter of the 2015 financial year.

Chief executive Nick Wood said: “We have been particularly pleased with such strong VIP membership signup and swipe rate of the card at tills.”

On Thursday, Bonmarché reported a 11.4% rise in online sales in the quarter to June 27, and an overall 3.8% rise in total sales during the period. But sales weren’t so strong in store, where like-for-like sales fell by 1.7%.

At the same time last year, total sales rose by 16.9%, with online sales up by 53.5% and like-for-like sales in store up by 13.5%. But performance has improved since the prior quarter, ended March 28, when overall sales grew by 0.9% and like-for-like store sales fell by 4.7%, while online sales rose by 14.5%.

Beth Butterwick, chief executive Officer of Bonmarché, said: “We have made a solid start to the new financial year. Our LFL run rate shows an improvement compared to the previous quarter, despite inconsistent spring & early summer weather. We continue to make progress with the execution of our strategic initiatives. We are listening to our customers’ feedback, based on which, our plans will evolve. At this early stage the board remains confident of achieving its expectations for the year.”

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