National retailer Jollyes is on course to open at least 10 more new stores during the rest of 2023, taking it above the 100-store level.
The company has secured a new £3m facility with bankers HSBC to support the expansion. New stores already confirmed include for the coming months include Belfast Boucher Road (July), Swindon (July), Merthyr Tydfil (August), Harrogate (September) and Swadlincote (November), with plans to open five additional new stores in central Scotland, Northern Ireland, Berkshire, Kent and Somerset, subject to successful lease negotiations. The chain currently trades from 90 stores across the UK, having opened 13 new sites in the last financial year.
The announcement came as Jollyes reported its strongest-ever full-year performance with sales rising 33% to £115.5m and like-for-like growth of 17% in the year to May 29, 2023. The company states that 60% of the like-for-like increase has come from transaction growth rather than inflation, through a mix of higher sales at existing stores, new openings and acquisitions, and rising digital demand for home delivery and click and collect services.
Jollyes has given makeovers, including the introduction of updated branding, to 10 stores during the year and is aiming to double the number of community pet clinics and in-store grooming parlours during the current financial year. All its pet spas will be refurbished and relaunched as The Jolly Groomer.
Private label lines such as Lifestage, K9 and Rileys have grown by 64% and Jollyes reports that over half of all dog food sold is now an in-house brand. It has also rolled out five raw food ‘shop-in-shops’ in Edinburgh, Llanelli, Milton Keynes, Newport (Isle of Wight) and Romford. The group’s PetCLUB membership scheme grew to over one million, with over 700,000 active users helping footfall in store reach a record 6.3 million visits.
During the financial year, the retailer added more than 160 people to its payroll, ending the year with more than 1,000 employees. A further 45 colleagues achieved SQP qualifications through Vetpol during the year, meaning that it now has 131 suitably qualified persons trained in dispensing veterinary medicines.
Jollyes chief executive officer Joe Wykes said: “The value we provide, the local service we offer and the ranges we’ve developed are proving to be a powerful combination in the growing number of communities we serve.
“Fundamental to our continued outperformance of the market has been the deep pet expertise of our own people. I’d like to thank the whole team – colleagues old and new – for their efforts over the last 12 months but, like them, I’m excited about what more we can achieve in the years ahead.
“Today, fewer than one in five potential customers lives within five miles of one of our stores. With the right team, the right backing and the right ambition, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us to bring the value and service that’s already making an impact, to significantly more UK communities.”