Designing a highly individual solution for Unique Pets
‘We are passionate about individual tailored service, and working with Salepoint we have achieved that again and again.’
An upmarket look and feel
Unique Pets, a natural pet supplies business in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, certainly lives up to its name. Opened in December 2011, business has been brisk ever since and a second branch opened in Aylesbury to meet the ever-growing demand.
Salepoint has been working with the company from the beginning, recognising that owner Jenna Tomlins required a highly individual solution to shopfittings, reflecting the business ethos that ‘customers are for life, not just for Christmas’.
From the start, shelving had to be strong as well as attractive to take the weight of the large bags of high premium feeds. Salepoint clad the structural components of the shop-fitting system in timber, typically used in giftware areas. Similarly, end uprights, kick plates, backing panels and other components were all given the bespoke timber treatment to give a decidedly upmarket look and feel. The demand for raw food required four freezers to be added to the layout.
Increasing space to cope with demand
Two years later, Jenna collected the keys for a second shop in Aylesbury. Working to tight deadlines, Salepoint produced a computer-aided design for the unit and installed shelving, displays and a counter in time for the store to open a month later.
Within six weeks Jenna had to move to a second unit to cope with demand. Desperate for more display space, Salepoint added more shop fittings, but it was soon clear that Unique Pets had outgrown the premises and they had to extend into the neighbouring unit.
Jenna said: ‘Demand in the shop shocked me. I thought it would have taken another two to three years before we had reached that point, but business had totally taken off.’
Pet photography studio and canine cafe
Unique Pets finally settled on a much bigger unit on the edge of Aylesbury town centre, offering better parking for customers collecting large bags of feed. Salepoint once more designed the store layout, providing extra display space and a large area for two grooming rooms and a training room. It also has a pet photography studio and a canine cafe.
Jenna said: ‘Having two groomers means we can take twice the number of dogs, as well as many dogs that other groomers won’t do, so we see a number of nervous or even aggressive dogs. Handling them takes patience and time.’
Dedicated, specially-designed features include a slatwall new product / seasonal item tower with a hexagonal base in beech and there is beech-effect timber backing throughout the store. Despite its warehouse size, the store keeps an upmarket feel. Frozen food is now a key part of the business and Aylesbury has 20 freezers to cope with the increasing demand, currently averaging two tonnes every week.
Turnover up 50%
Jenna is delighted with look and feel of the new branch, where turnover is already up 50%. ‘We are passionate about individual tailored service, and working with Salepoint we have achieved that again and again.
‘People like us because we will talk to them about their dog. You’d never catch us saying, “Oh, he’s a spaniel and that’s what spaniels do.” No, your dog is unique.’
Training sessions have taken off with regular puppy juvenile and adult classes, as well as monthly workshops. Expansion remains a priority too, with a third shop in Jenna’s sights. ‘I don’t spend ages deciding. I lick my finger, hold it up and say that will do. It is all gut-instinct.’
It’s an instinct that has served her well and Salepoint will be ready to help Unique Pets at the next stage in its development.