The pandemic has ravaged the traditional high street, with the lockdown forcing the closure, and in some cases permanent, of non-essential retail. However, for some retailers classed as essential, such as Pets At Home, business is booming.
According to City AM, the pet store chain experienced an 18 per cent increase in revenue during Q3 of 2020, bringing its revenue to £302 million, and it also grew the membership of its puppy and kitten club, a service offering advice and discounts to new set owners, by 47.2 per cent.
Now the retailer is looking to expand its high street presence after the success of two next-generation stores that opened in Camden and Putney in Q3 of 2020 to cater for what chief executive Peter Pritchard called a ‘significant step up in pet ownership during the pandemic”.
Pets At Home now has plans to open a further 20 high street sites in London, as appropriate sites become available. The new shops will be around 4,000 square feet to accommodate a range of products, a grooming salon, and an on-site vet service.
The retailer is more well known for retail park sites with branches of 7,500 square feet and larger. Pritchard said: “There is a lot of doom and gloom in retail… but we see a big opportunity in London for local stores.”
Pets At Home was classified as an essential retailer and has been able to keep branches open during recent lockdowns, and it has seen growth in stores, online and in its vet division. It maintained its full-year outlook and anticipates underlying pre-tax profit of at least £77 million.
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