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Pets at Home’s experience-led strategy starts to deliver results

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Pet care as a subscription, vets in store and freeing up staff to offer a better customer experience are all paying off for Pets at Home as it sees omni-channel revenues for the year to 29 March 2019 up 43% to £75.5 million.

The pet care retailer, which is revamping its business to be more ‘experience focussed’, has reported above expected revenues and sales, with revenues from VIP loyalty members increasing by 17.7%, website traffic and conversion up, as well as growth in the number of subscription plan customers reaching more than 700,000.

Group revenues are up 6.9% year-on-year to £961 million, with retail contributing £854.6 million, up 6.2%, and vet group services delivering £106.4 million, up 13.1%.

“We are well positioned in the £6.3 billion UK pet care market, which continues to show resilience,” says Peter Pritchard, Group Chief Executive Officer. “The market grew by an estimated 4% in calendar year 2018, within which there was growth of c3% in retail and c5% in the veterinary segment. Our winning combination of complete pet care enabled us to grow our market share in all key areas; gaining c0.9% in food and c1.1% in accessories, whilst also increasing our online share of these markets, and within the veterinary segment we increased our share by c1.2%.”

Another milestone was the launch of the company’s new pet care centre format at two existing stores, “where we have invested in a truly experiential and digital destination for customers, with an emphasis on putting pet care centre stage,” says Pritchard. “We will monitor the performance of these stores throughout FY20, with a view to refining the design and rolling out to further stores.”

Pritchard also points out how the retailer’s on going focus on making shopfloor staff more efficient by opening up mobile technology to them so that they can spend more time with customers, creating relationships and offering a great experience.

“By creating efficiencies, we can set our store, grooming and veterinary colleagues free to spend more time with customers,” says Pritchard. “We have successfully reduced non-customer facing tasks through initiatives such as fewer promotional changes, communication headsets and mobile ticket printers. We have created these efficiencies whilst increasing like-for-like sales and without a detrimental impact to customer service, as our overall satisfaction score from customers has improved through the year.”

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