Growth as pet owners go online
AN online pet superstore has managed to grow its turnover by £2m in the last year as pet owners turn to the internet and has now received additional investment to help it expand.
South Tyneside-based www.pet-supermarket.co.uk has secured a £250,000 investment from Newcastle firm NEL Fund Managers, which it will use to launch an improved e-commerce website as well as allow the company to buy in larger quantities of stock.
The firm, which is based in Jarrow and owned by parent company Viverdi, also in Jarrow, was founded by managing director Mark Berriman in 2004, after he spotted a gap in the market when he couldn’t find supplies of a specific dog food for his own chocolate Labrador Charlie.
The entrepreneur has managed to grow the firm’s turnover from around £3m to £5m in the last year after enjoying his best Christmas ever and now aims to continue its trend of increasing order values month-on- month.
The firm, which was set up in 2004, now expects the business to become a £20m-a-year enterprise within five years.
Based around the concept of being ‘run by pet lovers for pet lovers,’ much of the store’s success has been based on providing branded products that customers rely on for their pets’ individual requirements, but which they can’t always easily find in the high street.
The firm also recently more than doubled the number of foreign markets it sells into from 27 to 60, after investing in a new state-of-the-art payment system which protects it against fraudulent transactions from overseas customers.
Financial controller Louise Center said: “It’s difficult for any independent retailer like us to compete on price with the supermarkets on the best-known pet brands, but we feel we are able to offer a much better and more personalised service which recognises the particular needs of individual pets.
“The business has continued to move on an upward curve over the last few years, with order values going up month-on-month every single month since we started five years ago, and we’re now looking to accelerate our growth even more quickly.”