The department has become a major part of the overall business. It covers 750sq m and features living displays and innovative products for furry, feathered, finned and scaly pets. The department is a natural draw for children and adults.
Aquatics has been refitted over the past year. The aquarium wall was replaced by a new system of tanks, filters and pumps. A large LCD TV screen is in the centre and cycles through a series of how-to movies from OATA. The mayor and mayoress of Weston-super-Mare opened the department. Loyalty card members received invitations and discounts. Fish sales have risen 35 per cent and overall aquatic sales by 10 per cent.
The pet department was refitted second, with a redesign, new animal pods offering the best in comfort and style to maximise visibility without compromising safety, and shelter for pets. There are new graphics too.
To launch the department, Garden & Leisure ran a 'pets do the funniest things' children's photo competition with a VIP prize including meeting a marmoset, skunk and armadillo. Overall sales are up 15 per cent.
Staff in the department have courses available to them, including those from PCT, OATA, Cedar and various sales courses.
Garden & Leisure supply free pet care leaflets that are now available to view via scanning a QR code.
The centre has a 10-point checklist and pet operations manual to ensure the highest standards in animal care.
It offers a wide range of pets and has a new own-brand fish food range.
Events include a partnership with local vets Watkins and Tasker, family fun days, dog shows, charity support and dog grooming hosting.
Promotions include a Bring Back the Great British Pond campaign, offers, supplier support, price match guarantee and carry-to-car service.
- Judge's comment
"Responsible attitude to pet retailing and animal welfare" - Marc Rosenberg
- PATS 2013 is the UK's premier national showcase of the pets and aquatics trades bursting with buying opportunities in the spring at Sandown Park and Harrogate in the autumn.