Pets at Home Multi-Functional Service Hub

Building upon our award-winning store concept for Pets at Home, Briggs Hillier have developed a new modular, multi-functional instore ‘service hub’ that brings all free services together into a single location.

Providing a clear destination in store, the new service hub facilitates and promotes the broad range of free services offered by Pets at Home. Grouped into three key functions; click & collect, health & hygiene and general help & advice, the service hub provides a dedicated location for consultations and longer conversations between customers and colleagues. This could include a range of topics from new pet support, nutrition advice, product recommendations and personal shopping through to Puppy and Kitten Club signup.

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With development work starting on the service hub pre-pandemic and initially trialled Bridgend and Putney, UK, the facility has become even more important post-pandemic. As an essential retailer, Pets at Home have remained open throughout the last year, but demand for click & collect in store has exploded as more customers shop online. The dedicated click & collect point within the service hub has been strategically moved from the original location at the cash desk, to prevent customers from having to queue for collections. Easy to locate through clear signage and bold graphics, the click & collect point is also directly served by a custom-built storage room exclusively for online orders. With orders previously stored in the main warehouse, this ensures packages can be quickly and easily delivered to customers, utilising the flip-up counter for what are often large packages.

The health & hygiene element of the service hub, branded ‘Health Centre’, promotes a key free service offered by Pets at Home which is flea and worm advice. A sensitive area for many pet owners, it’s important the environment provides an element of privacy, reinforces credibility and encourages customers to feel reassured when discussing their pet’s health with colleagues. An integrated, consultation table at a lower level to the main desk provides a sitdown consultation facility. Alternatively, the desk layout equally accommodates stand-up consultation, which some customers prefer. As health and hygiene consultations often result in the purchase of related treatments, products are easily accessible.

Licensed products are displayed within a secure counter within the service hub desk, supported by an extended range of health and hygiene products on an adjacent perimeter wall. As the service hub is also a location where customers can sign-up to popular flea & worm subscriptions, promotional material and subscription forms are also to hand within the leaflet display built in to the desk, with the consultation providing a secure location to take bank details.

 

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General help and advice, the third function with the service hub, sits at the heart of space and together with ‘service desk’ signage in most locations, the area is branded ‘here to help’. This section of the service hub incorporates engraving of bespoke pet tags and includes a free coffee facility for members of Pets at Home’s ‘VIP’ loyalty club. Picture frames of people and their pets contributes to an approachable and homely feel, and a digital screen in larger stores is used to give presentations to customers on a range of topics, as well as display promotional and informative content. Also integrated within this area are pull-out scales for pet weight checks and storage for service related tools and administration.

Included within the service hub is a till point that serves both health and hygiene and order and collect purchases. Also located here is a call point for customers to use in quieter times when the service hub isn’t manned. This is linked directly to the headsets worn by store teams, ensuring customers can be served quickly and efficiently.

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As the service hub has been created for roll-out within all future refurbishments, the concept has been developed as a flexible kit of parts for implementation into a wide range of different store sizes and shapes. Core perimeter wall elements, multi-functional desk components and signage & graphic panels have been developed in different sizes and formats and can be arranged in multiple positions in store depending on layout and key sightlines, whether it’s a corner, a straight wall or an angled location.

 

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Overall, the service hub is a powerful statement of Pets a Home’s commitment to providing a comprehensive range of free services in store and to ‘bringing the pet care experience to life’. Combining all free services together within one hub, not only provides customers with a prominent, easy-to-find location instore to seek advice without having to hunt for a colleague in the aisles, but it also raises awareness of the free services available. In addition, the creation of a multi-functional service hub ensures that it’s operationally viable to resource the area, and importantly provides a clear connection between offline and online services.

The feedback so far is that customers, colleagues and pets LOVE the new service hub! Watch out for new locations coming soon in Perth, Portsmouth, Clacton and Handforth.

Jenny

Jenny Hillier

11th February 2021

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