The People Team (HR)
The Pets at Home vision is to become The Best Pet Shop in The World and the People Team is key to achieving this as we strive to create a Truly Amazing Place to Work. We support the business by finding amazing people to join us and then making sure these people receive the training and development that they need to succeed.
As a team we cover all areas of HR, from Colleague Relations through to Resourcing, Learning and Development and Colleague Engagement. We support all areas of the business and have a reputation for delivery and supporting our colleagues and the business.
For a business which was named as the Best Big Company to Work For in 2013 we are all working on becoming an even better place to work. It’s a challenge but an exciting one!
Retail Operations Team
As a specialist retailer who’s generated over 110,000 customer reviews over the past year via our Fish 4 Opinion Customer Service survey, having a strong support team is vital. That way, we can ensure that the daily operation of each store runs as smoothly as possible to give our customers and their pets a world-class shopping experience!
Based in the Support Office, our Retail Operations team ensure that our store teams have all that they need to ensure that their time is maximised towards giving our Pets and Customers the best care and service possible.
Our Retail Operations team deliver all aspects of our operations, including communications, important aspects of the delivery scheduling, uniform, consumables and range reviews. Plus of course, anything relative to the most important aspects of our business – pets and customers. As the saying goes… don’t panic, Retail Ops will sort it out!
Customer Services Team
If our retail stores are open, then we, in Customer Services, are busy working too, making sure we’re ready to help customers whenever they need us.
Like our Store Colleagues, we’ve been trained to make sure we have the most in-depth knowledge possible with regard to our products, services and pets – including things like nutrition advice and licensed medicines. Our expertise really does match that of our Store Colleagues. It also helps us deal with more than 10,000 customer phone calls, e-mails and letters every month!
We give the business the legal support which it needs to stay compliant, manage legal risk and achieve its commercial objectives. As a mix of commercial, corporate and property lawyers, plus legal administrative support, we enjoy constant challenges in a fast-paced environment.
Working closely with all teams across the business is a lot of fun though too because we’re not your typical team of lawyers. In fact, we can often be found petting a dog or throwing a ball down the office whilst giving our legal advice.
We fall into two functions, Acquisitions and Estate/Asset Management.
Acquisitions acquire new stores to add to our existing property portfolio. We identify locations, agree terms and progress the acquisition through the legal process to completion. We liaise with other teams such as Legal, Development, Retail and the People Team and aim to satisfy Pets at Home’s desire to open more and more stores!
Estate/Asset Management manage our existing property portfolio, undertaking rent reviews and lease renewals. We also manage any issues like establishing repair liabilities and ensuring landlords maintain common areas. We aim to extract value from the existing store portfolio and ensure tenants’ and landlords’ obligations are maintained.
The Pet Team
Our number one value at Pets at Home is “We put Pets before Profit” and no one lives this value more than our Pet Team. We make sure all pets, reptiles and fish are sourced responsibly from professional suppliers who adhere to our strict Code of Practice.
Our team includes a qualified Vet, a Freshwater and Marine Biologist, a Pet and Reptile Operations Manager, a Pet Supply Manager and Vet Nurses who help to deal with any pet health issues in store. We also have a Head of Pet Operations, who manages a team of nine Field Pet Managers, who audit our stores and investigate any issues.
In 2006 we launched our very own Charity – Support Adoption For Pets. This is an independent charity, focused on giving abandoned and unwanted pets a new, happy and healthy life. In the last 12 months we’ve raised over £3 million, helped over 650 rescues and awarded over £2.5m in grants to rescue and re-homing centres across the UK.
Our stores play a vital role in our charity work. Last year alone they re-homed 62,000 pets through our dedicated Adoption Centres and, from guiding rescue centres through applying for a grant to organising a raffle to win a car – no two days in the Charity Team are ever the same. Our mix of full and part time colleagues perform a wide range of roles, from Fundraising and Communications to Marketing & PR. Our people have a passion for pets and a desire to make a difference!
Business Systems Team
Our aim is to develop, deliver, maintain and support all new and existing systems whilst constantly striving to deliver a pawsitivley outrageous service for our business!
We’re responsible for all Projects and Programmes, Testing, SAP Management, Integration Services, Ecommerce, Service Delivery, Distribution Centres, Vets4Pets and In-Store Vets. We also supply the business with statistical data and trending analysis and provide the technical expertise for group systems and network connectivity. A small but perfectly formed and growing team, we’re always keen to welcome innovative and enthusiastic newcomers.
We support stores across the UK to produce effective and impactful product displays. Using all of the key commercial metrics we ensure that every store has the optimum product selection, from dog fashion and food, to rabbit and reptile accessories.
Working alongside our Buying, Marketing and Supply Team colleagues within a category team structure, we make sure each piece of store space has the right range content to meet the needs of our customers. As a team, we all have wide ranging skills, from creative visual abilities to sound commercial retail acumen and we love change, enjoy a challenge and are never happy to stand still!
Our role is to decide which products we sell, the price we buy and sell them for, how we promote them, who we buy them from and the relationships we have with our suppliers. We need to understand the needs of our customers and their pets, global market trends, be able to predict emerging trends and react quickly to changes in consumer demand to maximise profitable sales.
Although there’s a basic structure to the day/week/month, no two days are ever the same here! We work cross-functionally and operate closely with our Store Colleagues. It goes without saying that Buyers need to be commercially astute and have the ability to manage and drive sales as well as work confidently with people from all levels of the business and suppliers.
Global Sourcing Team
Our UK and Hong Kong based sourcing teams are responsible for finding the best vendors and products from around the globe, negotiating with these suppliers and then delivering products into our stores to our customers and their pets.
First of all, we scour the Internet, global trade shows and use our networks to find suppliers that meet with all of our ethical and technical requirements. We then work with other functions across the business to deliver innovative products through a structured process and within very tight timescales. Our team attracts independent thinkers, strong project managers and people with the ability to manage many tasks at the same time. A love of travel also helps.
Quality Management Team
Our quality teams in both the UK and Asia are responsible for ensuring every product we sell is safe, legal, fit for purpose and comes from a technically and ethically approved factory.
From a product perspective, we’re constantly working with factories to help improve quality and specification standards, ensuring that they pass all the relevant independent tests we insist on. We work closely with factories during manufacturing and carry out final checks before products make their way to our stores. A real eye for detail and an inquisitive (some would say nosy) style is essential to make sure all of our products keep our pets and those of our customers happy and safe!
We support the wider business by maintaining a great online presence and creating an easier way for customers to shop for our fantastic products. Our team is made up of a variety of roles that focus on the Merchandising, Operations, Buying and Design of all aspects of the website.
We work closely with other areas of the business including the Buying Team, Marketing Team and the VIP Team to create a seamless shopping experience. As the Pets at Home business is growing at a phenomenal rate, our website is continuing to grow and expand to support the wider growth of our retail business.
Supply and Merchandise Planning, Central Data and Availability Teams
Without our Supply and Merchandise Planning team our stores would be empty and our pets would go hungry! Working here is exciting, fast paced, supportive, noisy and demanding. We also work closely with Buying and Availability teams, to understand our products and make sure they reach stores on time. We’re a strong team who love playing rounders!
In Central Data we ensure that all data is accurate and legal – including article info-records, promotions, finance funding, supplier data, costs and retail maintenance. Many of our tasks are business critical in order to ensure we trade legally and provide customers with all the information they need. Product Supply teams order products for delivery into our distribution centres from the UK and worldwide. In Availability, we then ensure they make their way into over 400 stores so that our customers have exactly what they need – when they need it.
Finance touches every area of our business, meaning that there’s plenty of scope for internal career development and progression. Everyone within the Finance Team works really hard, but this hard work gets recognised. We have our Finance Recognition of Greatness (FROG) awards, where each month we nominate a high performing team member, and we’re always up for team days/nights out and fish and chip lunches! We also support students through their Finance training with exam fees, study time and help them to gain broad professional experience. Within Finance we have three main teams which include Financial Control, Commercial Finance, and Financial Accounting and Transactions, each with even more smaller teams which sit within them such as our Management Accounts and Purchase Ledger teams.
We also have a team of payroll professionals who provide a payroll service for 10,500 colleagues across the Pets at Home Group.
Our Loss Prevention team are also part of our Finance family and consist of a small team of field based Regional Loss Prevention Managers who are supported by Analysts, based at our Support Office.
Following the acquisition of a new property or the refurbishment of an older one, we work cross functionally, across the estate, to deliver a wide and varied end-to-end process. From Space Planning and Store Proposition, to design, build and ongoing maintenance and compliance, we work collaboratively with our colleagues to ensure a balance between the needs of both services and retail. Business Development includes:
Projects Team – we’re responsible for all of the physical work that takes place in any store. From fitting it out to the addition of a mezzanine, vet and Groom Room or simply replacing a Bunny Village with our latest home for small furry animals.
Proposition Team – we liaise with external design companies to create the look and feel of our stores, from the external signage through to the interior bespoke graphics, The Groom Room and Vet services.
Space Planning Team – we are challenged to fit more and more great offers and services into smaller and smaller spaces. Every store is different and offers unique and exciting challenges.
Facilities Team – we manage all facilities services delivered to the Support Office, Stores, Groom Rooms and the Vet Group. This includes all aspects of maintenance, health and safety, building, energy and asset lifecycle management. Our in-house helpdesk supports colleagues with any facilities management or maintenance queries.
From attracting new customers and communicating promotions in-store to managing the VIP Club loyalty programme, we’re responsible for consumer and market insight and the marketing and development of brands such as The Groom Room. Our External Communications team runs national campaigns, including TV advertising, digital marketing and PR. While, at a local level we support new store openings, refits and stores with strong competitors nearby.
We design and build marketing programs, collect and analyse customer data and use this to give our customers unique and relevant communications – aimed at growing loyalty and engagement. Our My VIP magazine was voted the best customer magazine in the UK last year and VIP was voted the UK’s top loyalty scheme by two separate sets of awards. This year, we’re planning to roll out new clubs for kids, mobile phone apps and are even building our own in house studio!