// Pets at Home purchases The Vet Connection as it works towards improving online offering
// Vet Connection offers telehealth advice, triage and ancillary services using its in-house veterinary team
// Pets at Home is seeking to transfer The Vet Connection’s capabilities into its operations
Pets at Home has acquired veterinary telehealth provider The Vet Connection (TVC) in an effort to build on its online offerings.
The pet care retailer has made the purchase for a cash consideration of £15 million, which is being financed by its existing cash reserves.
The Vet Connection is a business which offers telehealth advice, triage and ancillary services using its in-house veterinary team, making 90,000 remote consultations a year.
Pets at Home is seeking to transfer The Vet Connection’s capabilities into its operations, boosting its digital offering.
The retailer reported a 5.1 per cent decline in pre-tax profit to £40 million during the 28 weeks to October 8, but is seeking to capitalise on the “baby boom” of new pet owners during the pandemic.
It said it will offer “lifetime value” through new online and in-store offerings including remote consultations.
“The acquisition of TVC marks an important next step in the development of our digital capabilities providing trusted advice and even more convenient pet care services,” Pets at Home chief executive Peter Pritchard said.
“We recognise TVC’s exceptional telehealth capabilities and excellent service levels, as well as the opportunities arising from the scalability of their clinical protocols and proprietary telehealth platform, and look forward to incorporating their capabilities into our existing customer offer – across product, services and subscriptions – to enhance the overall customer experience and help drive customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.
“TVC is a win-win solution for our customers, colleagues and joint venture partners, providing 24/7 access to trusted advice from the comfort of home with increased flexibility around veterinary work-life balance.”
Last week, Pets at Home joined Marks & Spencer in deciding to close its doors on Boxing Day as a “sign of appreciation” to colleagues after a strenuous year.
The retailer said staff should take the time off to spend with their families after working hard during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pets at Home also joined the likes of John Lewis, which has a long tradition of closing on December 26 and starting its Sale online-only until the following day.