The company (petscorner.co.uk) already has 80 stores around England, opening an average of 10 stores a year during the past five years. It has also extended its warehouse facilities and head office in Crawley.
To continue expansion at this pace, Pets Corner approached NatWest and Lombard for funding to buffer the company’s cash flow during store launches and to pay for lighting, till points and shop fits.
Working with Roy Oatway, Relationship Director in the NatWest Heathrow office, and Andrew Barnard, Relationship Director at Lombard, Pets Corner was able to secure £750,000 of funding from NatWest, combined with a £600,000 Lombard asset finance facility.
Its continued growth has enabled Pets Corner to create more than 75 jobs nationwide in the past year, and s a further 20 jobs in the Crawley head office and central warehouse, and the company expects its £25 million turnover will increase by 10%.
The family-owned business, run by second generation son Dean Richmond and directors Steven Charman and Iain Dougal, specialises in offering a range of high quality pet products.
Dougal says: “We wanted a banking partner that would be able to support us through growth – with such an aggressive opening strategy we needed funds to stabilise our cash flow. More importantly with Roy we’re dealing with someone who understands where we’re coming from; we have a great working relationship. Without NatWest’s continued support we’d probably only be half the size we are now.”
Pets Corner hopes to open a further 50 stores over the next five years with the bank’s support. Consequently, the company will again increase its warehouse and sustain its recruitment drive.
Oatway says: “Pets Corner’s growth is helping to boost the retail industry as it thrives in difficult times, creating employment opportunities locally and nationally and all their staff receive comprehensive training – it’s a great development for the community.”
External contractors have also benefitted from Pets Corner’s successes as the company has invested around £3 million with local business in and around Crawley and Brighton, to refit their new branches nationwide.
Pets Corner offers leading products from independent pet product manufactures and prides itself on its green credentials and providing customers with expert animal knowledge.