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Pets at Home omnichannel sales up by a third as loyalty club members spend on both retail and services

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Pets at Home today posted a 36% rise in first-quarter omnichannel sales, as its one-stop services and retail approach succeeded in winning more business from its VIP loyalty club members.

The retail and services business for pet owners, ranked Top 100 in IRUK Top500 research, said that its one-stop shop approach to pet care was helping it to a greater share of customer spending. During the year 23% more members of its VIP loyalty club bought both products and a service, while sales to VIP customers grew by 20.7% to £646.6m. More than 765,000 customers now subscribe to receive regular pet treatments through the post. The company has also widened the services that it offers to VIP club members through its investment in Tailster, an online marketplace for pet walking, sitting and boarding services.

Pet at Home today reported first-quarter revenue of £303.4m in a trading statement covering the 16 weeks to July 18, 9.9% ahead compared to the same time last year. Within that, retail revenues of £266.4m were up by 8.7%, with omnichannel revenue up by 36% at £26m. Vet Group revenues of £37m were 18.8% ahead of last time. It said that it expected full-year profits to be “slightly above current market expectations”.

Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said the retailer had seen a strong sales performance, especially in retail, where like-for-like sales were 8.2% ahead of the same time last year. He also said that its plans to buy out a number of joint venture vet practices had been “carefully executed.”

He added: “At this early stage in the year and with ongoing uncertainty across the wider retail sector, we remain cautiously optimistic and focused on delivering our pet care strategy.”

Pets at Home trades online and from 425 stores, many of which also have vet practices and grooming salons. 

Commenting, Amy Higginbotham, retail analyst at data and analytics company GlobalData, said Pets at Home was seeing robust like-for-like sales growth in both its retail and vets services businesses. “Its success can be attributed to its willingness to invest in modernising the business, for example through its new ‘store of the future’ concept, which helps set it apart from competitors,” she said.

The new store concept, she said, would combine its retail operations with its vet division while focusing on an improved customer experience and pet care services. “Not only does this help bring its retail and veterinary divisions closer together, it also strengthens Pets at Home’s specialist credentials and helps set it apart from non-specialists such as Amazon and the grocers.

“The retailer’s efforts to encourage cross-group purchases are paying off, with the number of VIP members purchasing both a product and a vet group service growing by 23% this quarter.”

Image courtesy of Pets at Home

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