Slump in merchandise sales drags Pets At Home through Q3

Pets At Home has blamed “subdued trading” in its merchandise division slowing down sales in the third quarter.

Revenue at the retailer went up by 4.4 per cent to £203.7 million in the 12 weeks to January 5, but like-for-like sales across the company only went up by 0.1 per cent.

The retailer‘s services division, which includes veterinary and pet grooming services, saw comparable sales growth of seven per cent, but like-for-like merchandise sales went down 0.5 per cent.

Pets at Home chief executive Ian Kellett said while the company‘s vet services and online retail arms performed strongly this quarter, he admitted merchandise was “softer than anticipated”.

READ MORE: Pets at Home posts rise in sales and profits

“With a quarter to go, our profit outlook for the year remains in line with expectations, reflecting both the continued investment in our customer offer and ongoing efficiency initiatives,” he said.

“Our focus on becoming more specialist, and doing the right thing for our customers, remains at the forefront of our strategy.”

Late last year, Pets at Home warned that trading was softening, but today it confirmed it was still on track to meet full-year forecasts.

The retailer added it was on course to open 15-20 superstores, 45-55 vet practices and 50-60 grooming salons this year.

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