Pets at Home hires former Morrisons director as new CEO

By guest author Sahar Nazir from Retail Gazette

  • Pets at Home welcomes Lyssa McGowan as new CEO
  • McGowan will succeed Peter Pritchard

Pets at Home has revealed that will join as the company’s new chief executive from 1 June 2022.

Caption courtesy by Retail Gazette

McGowan will succeed Peter Pritchard, who announced his intention last November to step down from his role in summer 2021 and will remain with the business until 31 May 2022.

McGowan will be appointed to the board as chief executive Designate on April 25, 2022.

She is the outgoing chief consumer officer at Sky UK Limited, with responsibility for the consumer business serving more than 10 million customers.

McGowan has broad experience of managing product, service and subscription-led businesses, leveraging deep capabilities in new product and service innovation, omnichannel development, marketing and customer experience excellence, and data and digital transformation.

She was a non-executive director of the board of Morrisons until its recent sale to CD&R.

“Lyssa brings strong corporate, strategic and operational expertise across a range of consumer-facing businesses, and a proven track record of growth at Sky, with significant experience in customer and digital-first initiatives across multiple channels and sites,” Pets at Home chairman, Ian Burke said.

“Following an extensive search process across internal and external candidates, the Board believes that Lyssa has the requisite skills and capabilities to lead Pets at Home as it executes its future growth strategy.

“Lyssa’s commercial and strategic experience will undoubtedly be of great benefit to Pets at Home and I very much look forward to working with her.”

McGowan said: “I am thrilled to be joining Pets at Home as chief executive. It is a fantastic business with a unique, integrated business model, and a strong purpose-led culture fuelled by the shared passion of over 15,000 colleagues and Partners to care for pets, and the people who love them.

“I am excited to work with the Board and Executive Management Team to lead Pets at Home on its journey to being the best pet care business in the world.”

Pets at Home now expects profits for its current financial year to reach GBP 140 million

  • Like-for-like sales surged 28.1 % on a two-year basis in the 12 weeks to 30 December as pet owners bought more premium products

By guest author Gemma Goldfingle from Retail Gazette

Pets at Home has upped its profit guidance for the year as momentum in the business grew over the golden quarter.

The pets specialist now expects underlying pre-tax profit to be at least £140m in its current financial year.

Pets at Home said it benefited from the “humanisation” of pets and a flight to premium products, which led to record sales on seasonal ranges.

Like-for-like sales surged 28.1 % on a two-year basis and 8.7 % year on year in the 12 weeks to December 30, 2021, with retail the star performer at the group, which also has a vets division.

The retailer has experienced ongoing success with its plan to build a pet care ecosystem. It increased the number of active VIP loyalty scheme members by 13 % year on year, 34 % on a two-year basis, and boosted its number of Puppy and Kitten Club members by 60 % year on year. Its Puppy and Kitten Club members typically spend a third more than non-members.

Online sales almost doubled, up 99.3 %, on a two-year basis over the period. The retailer broadened its deliver from store capability over the quarter and approximately one third of all online orders are now delivered this way.

Pets at Home group chief executive Peter Pritchard said: “Our unique, omnichannel pet care strategy continues to deliver strong revenue growth, reflecting continued momentum in customer acquisition, engagement and spend as the benefits of our ongoing investment in capacity and capability really start to deliver.

“We are firmly on track to report a record year of sales and profit growth, and I am incredibly grateful to all of our fantastic colleagues and partners across the group for their hard work and commitment to helping us become the best pet care business in the world.

Pritchard revealed his intention to step down from Pets at Home, where he has been chief executive since 2018, at the end of last year. The retailer said the search for his success is “well advanced”.