Pets at Home has re-emphasised its pledge to future expansion of the business despite recent setbacks, which has seen the pet retailer halt plans for two new superstores and report a 16.6% decline in pre-tax profits in the year to March 29.
When announcing its financial figures last month Pets at Home stated it would open up to five superstores, 20-25 vet practices and 10-20 grooming salons this year.
But then news leaked out that the retail chain had halted plans for new superstores in Skegness, Lincolnshire, and Guisborough in the North-East, blaming a volatile property market for both decisions.
A spokesperson for Pets at Home told Pet Trade Xtra last week that the retail giant was committed to future expansion, stating: “When we announced our results on 22 May we said we would open up to five superstores in the current financial year. While we keep the details under careful review that is our plan.”
It has been a difficult period for the UK’s largest pet retailer. Profits fell last year as the group counted the cost of an investment drive, although revenues grew 7.8% to £898.9 million.
New chief executive Peter Pritchard, who is overseeing a turnaround at the group, said: "Our plans to reposition retail are working, more customers are coming back to shop with us, and we are committed to returning the business to profit growth. But it hasn't been easy.
"We took decisive action, threw passion and energy into it, and delivered targeted pricing changes to give customers the products that mattered most to them, with the service and value they expect from us."