Pets at Home has bought Vets4Pets’ 93 stand-alone practices but stresses it is “business as usual” for both companies.
Leading pet retailer Pets at Home has bought out veterinary franchise Vets4Pets.
However, it has stressed the takeover will still mean “business as usual” for Vets4Pets practices and staff.
The acquisition, announced on April 9, 2013, sees Pets at Home take on Vets4Pets’ 93 stand-alone practices. They will sit along Pets at Home’s existing 116 in-store Companion Care practices, as well as six stand-alone practices.
A spokesman for the retailer has admitted the company hopes to grow its outlets from around 300 to 500, with as many in-store practices as possible. However, Pets at Home still wants to run stand-alone practices, whether as Companion Care or Vets4Pets.
“It’s not about reducing the number of stand-alone practices, it’s about giving Pets at Home the opportunity to develop its veterinary business down both of those avenues,” he said.
He said Pets at Home would also explore broader models for stand-alone practices, such as Companion Care’s Leighton Buzzard Vets Plus practice, which operates a grooming service alongside the practice.
Speaking exclusively to Vetsonline, Sally Hobson, customer and people director at Pets at Home, said: “It’s business as usual and we have no intention of rebranding either company – Vets4Pets is a highly valued brand and there’s no value for us in rebranding it as Companion Care. Vets4Pets will continue as Vets4Pets.
“The situation is exactly as it was yesterday. Both companies will continue to trade, and to an extent compete, as they both operate in the same market and have been doing so successfully for years as separate JVP models. We have no intention of changing that.”
She stressed there was a lot for staff be excited about, as the “back office” changes mean Pets at Homes can take the best of both companies and offer more support for each of them.
“Our aim is to accelerate the openings of both businesses, not decelerate them,” she added.
Ms Hobson also said the move could lead to more training and career development opportunities for both Companion Care and Vets4Pets staff.
She said: “The combined business makes things like training academies for staff more viable – so we can support staff at both businesses, whether they want to develop their career as a JVP, or a nurse etc.”