Pets at Home today reported fast growth in website traffic and the use of click and collect as it reported a 6% rise in sales and a 10% rise in profits in the first half of its financial year. The retailer is currently trialling order-in-store through kiosks in six stores, to make available an extended range of 13,000 products.
The pet grooming, supplies and veterinary business said both traffic and visits to its website, PetsAtHome.com had grown strongly, thanks to improved content, advice and features on the site. It says its store base proved a key asset: click and collect now accounts for 45% of total online revenues, up from 23% at the same time last year.
The update came as Pets at Home announced sales of £404.5m in the 28 weeks to October 8, 6% up on the equivalent period last year. Like-for-like sales, which strips out the effect of store openings and closures, were up by 1.8%. Pre-tax profits came in at £35.8m, 10.7% up on last time.
Pets at Home is a Model retailer in InternetRetailing’s IRUK Top500 research.
Chief executive Nick Wood said Pets at Home’s core strategic drivers, which include seamless, omnichannel shopping, engaging with customers, harnessing the power of VIP loyalty alongside offering innovative products at attractive prices and growing its services business, remained strong.
“We have strengthened the business further through the implementation of our new divisional structure, whilst investment in our colleagues and seamless shopping experience continues to build our competitive and strategic strength,” said chief executive Nick Wood.
Pets At Home’s VIP club now has 3.9m members, with, it says, more than a quarter of the UK cat population and a third of the UK dog population registered on its databases. VIP cards are swiped in transactions that represent some 67% of store revenues, up from 65% at the same time last year. Next year the retailer will launch a VIP app, which will remove the need for customers to carry the VIP loyalty card while also enabling push messaging and allowing the retailer to send real-time offers. The retailer’s Net Promoter Score stood at 88% during the period, up from 86% last time. The retailer also said it would be introducing the national living wage for all staff, regardless of age, at the beginning of its 2017 financial year.
The figures follow fast growth in first-quarter results.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher , reporting third quarter results for the 13 weeks to October 31, put 23.4% growth at Screwfix down to its “leading omnichannel trade sales capability as well as new and extended trade ranges and 13 new outlets. B&Q sales were up by a more restrained 1.2%, with sales of seasonal and building products up by 6.3%.
Overall, Kingfisher’s UK sales of £1.2bn were 5.4% up on the same time last year, while group sales of £2.6bn were 0.4% ahead, as a result of falling sales in its other European markets.