Thursday 19 September 2019

Nearly 200 jobs at Just For Pets saved through Pedigree Wholesale takeover deal

Just For Pets will see seven of 25 retail outlets close.

Pet cost survey
Pet cost survey

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Reporter

Nearly 200 jobs have been saved after collapsed retailer Just For Pets was bought up by Pedigree Wholesale for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition will allow 18 out of 25 Just For Pets outlets to continue operating, securing jobs for 180 employees and head office staff.

But Pedigree said that it had decided “with regret” to close seven sites in Northampton, Reading, Wellington and Nottingham, Bessie & Boo (Evesham), Burton upon Trent and Yardley.

Nearly 60 employees have now been notified and issued with redundancy notices by the appointed administrator, nearly a month after its previous owner Wynnstay Group announced the chain’s collapse.

Stolen cats study

The future of the Worcestershire-based pet retail chain had been called into question after falling into administration in mid-September following a “marked deterioration” in the trading environment amid competition, changing shopper behaviours and rising cost pressures, according to Wynnstay Group.

But Pedigree’s subsequent takeover, which was facilitated through its newly formed sister company PSR Trading Limited, will help keep the pet retailer on the high street.

Among the 18 locations set to continue operations are stores in Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Telford, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Nuneaton.

Steve Brown, managing director of Pedigree Wholesale, said: “On hearing that the future of Just For Pets was under threat, Pedigree Wholesale felt we could play a role in using our pet business expertise to secure a new future for the business.

“We know Just For Pets has a great reputation for offering outstanding customer service and has developed a loyal customer base so we are pleased that Pedigree Wholesale can now create a future for the business and the brand.”

Pedigree Wholesale – which did not disclose the total cost of the deal – has said that it will now “work closely” with the retailer on stock, investment and ongoing development of the Just For Pets product range.

It also assured that day-to-day management would continue under the existing team, which Pedigree said will “continue to focus on customer engagement, staff development and instore activity”.

Just For Pets generated £7 million in revenue in the six months to April 30 and reported an operating loss of £250,000, according to Wynnstay Group’s administration announcement in September.

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