Jollyes, the Pet People, presses accelerator on new growth plans

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After experiencing significant growth over the past two years, nationwide pet retailer Jollyes is set to accelerate its growth plans, opening up to 20 new stores over the next 18 months, creating over 150 dream jobs for those wanting to work with animals. 

Jollyes is also planning new investment in its product ranges, marketing and colleagues as it reinforces its position as ‘The Pet People’ through the in-depth expertise of its team who can offer detailed advice on anything pet-related, from rabbits to reptiles. 

In its most recent quarter, which ended on the 29 August, Jollyes delivered 21 per cent like-for-like growth compared to the same period in 2019.  

All regions across the UK have seen double digit growth with a particularly exceptional performance in Northern Ireland. 

For the 12 months to May 2021, revenue increased 13 per cent to £77m compared to 2020, as new lockdown pet owners made Jollyes their favourite local pet store – trend that’s accelerated in the past three months. 

Over the course of the last year Jollyes has: 

  • Seen customer visits rise 13 per cent as it successfully introduced its PetCLUB scheme, driving loyalty and frequency of visits. 
  • Invested in new private label ranges such as LifeStage that offer high-quality pet food with without a premium price tag. 
  • Given stores in Maidstone, Eccles and Plymouth a make-over with clearer displays, better customer navigation and a refreshed brand that will set the tone for additional revamps in 2021. 
  • Expanded into new services such as dog grooming through its growing network of Spas which can now be found in 14 of Jollyes 67 stores and community vet clinics through partner CPC.  
  • Overhauled its online presence at www.jollyes.co.uk to bring a nationwide delivery on over 4,000 key items, integrating with a full click-and-collect service through its store network. 
  • Achieved five-star Trust Pilot ratings for 23 stores and an average 4.7 score across the whole of Jollyes underlining its commitment to the highest standards of customer service. 

With ambitious plans to build on this progress in the year ahead, Jollyes has also now added to its leadership team. 

Joining retail operations director Lucie Coleman and commercial director Chris Burns are two new hires. 

  • Joe Wykes has joined the team this month as chief operating officer after two years as COO at Bensons for Beds.  Joe will bring significant experience across finance, logistics, property, legal, HR and distribution, gained in multi-site retail environments.   He has also held senior roles in finance and operations in a number of private equity-backed businesses.    
  • Sean Norris who’s been at Jollyes for two years, will become Chief Customer Officer. building Jollyes e-commerce, CRM, technology and loyalty programmes.  He’ll also take on responsibility for IT, business intelligence & Marketing, creating a broader function focused on customers, developing insight and strategy for both acquisition and retention.  
  • As part of Sean’s team, Phil Turner-Naylor will join Jollyes as its new head of marketing later this month.  Phil has a wide marketing experience both online and offline from previous roles at Sainsburys, Asda, Co-op and most recently as Head of Marketing at Ryman. 

Richard Cotter, executive chairman of Jollyes is delighted at the progress made at Britain’s second-largest pet retailer.  He said: “While remaining open throughout the pandemic to serve pet lovers has not been easy because of the added cost and complexity, our people have more than risen to the challenge, and we’ve enjoyed a very successful year with sensational progress.  

“And we’re excited about our future – we’ve worked hard to build a strong platform that will allow us to do much more – new and better stores, wider ranges and further investment in our people as we bring their passion for pets to more communities across the UK.” 

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, 3.2 million households have acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, with cat and dog ownership alone reaching 12 million of each. Pet ownership has been linked to well-being and improved mental health.  

Jollyes saw increased sales of pets, food and accessories, including sales of popular birds such as canaries up 50 per cent and sales of reptiles such as geckos up 14 per cent. There was also a 10 per cent rise in sales of wild bird seed as more people fed their garden birds.  

In the year ahead, Jollyes expects to open new stores through both the targeted strategic acquisition of smaller pet retailers and taking on new leases in carefully through-through locations across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.