In addition to Just for Pets being rescued from administration, the company will maintain employment of nearly 200 staff from its head office and store operations in 18 locations across the country.
The predominantly Midlands-based stores announced that changes in consumer buying habits, greater costs and new sources of competition led to losses.
Just for Pets will continue to operate in the following locations: Bristol, Bromsgrove, Cambourne, Cambridge, Coventry, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, Long Eaton, Malvern, Maypole, Northfield, Nuneaton, Stourbridge, Swadlincote, Telford, Wolverhampton, and Worcester.
Steve Brown, managing director of Pedigree Wholesale, said: “On hearing that the future of Just for Pets was under threat Pedigree Wholesale felt we could play a role in using our pet business expertise to secure a new future for the business. We know Just for Pets has a great reputation for offering outstanding customer service and has developed a loyal customer base so we are pleased that Pedigree Wholesale can now create a future for the business and the brand.
“The addition of Just for Pets to the Pedigree Wholesale family reinforces our commitment to investing and driving innovation within the pet sector which we believe will support the interests of all who have a stake in the continued success of our industry. We remain committed to developing our core wholesale business and expect to announce further significant investment which will directly support all of our wholesale customers.”
Fiona Cincotta, a senior market analyst at www.cityindex.co.uk said: “Just For Pets has been rescued from collapse at the 11th hour by Pedigree Wholesaler, a firm which supplies pet and aquatic products to the independent retail sector. After Just For Pets entered into administration last month, Pedigree Wholesaler jumped in rescuing the HQ and 18 of the 25 stores
“Despite Just For Pets booking an operating loss of £250,000 in the six months to 1 April, it did so from a revenue generation of £7 million. Just For Pets were clearly generating sales and Pedigree Wholesaler homed in on the potential there.
“Strategically this partnership makes sense; Pedigree Wholesaler will look to build on Just For Pet’s strong reputation and customer loyalty, whilst creating synergies so as to turn the failing pet store’s solid revenue generation into a profit.
“Wynnstay Group, the former parent company of Just For Pets was trading over 3 percent lower in early trading on Wednesday. The shares have been on a downward trajectory since peaking at 660p in March this year reflecting investor sentiment that more needs to be done to turn the stock around.”