Transformational Vets Concept Launched in Pets at Home

In our latest project for Pets at Home, we’ve developed a new design concept for the Veterinary part of the Group under their well-known brand of ‘Vets4Pets’.

Launched in the brand new Handforth Dean store, and located just around the corner from Pets at Home’s Support Office, the new vets concept continues to elevate the pet health care experience. The new environment has been designed around the specific needs of pets and their owners, providing a seamless customer journey and new facilities offered in a safe, comfortable and homely space.


Located at the back of the store, the traditional reception desk at the entrance to Vets4Pets has been replaced by a concierge-style podium where colleagues can meet and greet customers. This encourages an approachable and personal feel, by removing the physical barrier of a desk between colleagues and customers. Self-check-in terminals have also been introduced to the area.

In addition to increasing seating capacity, waiting areas have been transformed from a standard, functional ‘waiting room’ into two distinctive zones – one for customers with dogs and one for customers with cats. Illustrations and subtle signage brand each area. To encourage a relaxed and homely atmosphere, each zone includes framed lifestyle shots of the in-store veterinary team, as well as plants and soft globe lighting. Drinks are also offered to customers, and an informative digital screen in each zone provides useful information.


To create greater separation between the two zones, the centre section of the back wall includes a pop-out section to establish a physical barrier between dog and cat areas, as well as creating a feature wall behind the meet & greet area. The halo-illuminated feature wall is clad in natural moss for a soft, natural feel and provides a striking backdrop for a digital screen displaying engaging, bespoke content relating to the veterinary surgery. ‘Vets4Pets’ signage sits above the area to create bold sign-posting in store.

Consulting with Pets at Home veterinary practitioners throughout the process, animal welfare is at the heart of the design solution. This included creating a cat-friendly space that meets the specific needs of cats, with the objective of becoming an ‘Accredited Cat Friendly Clinic’. To create comfortable space for cats, the waiting area not only ensures separation from dogs, but includes elevated platforms where owners can place cat baskets to keep them off the floor. Towels are also provided to drape over baskets where needed to calm cats.


Other facilities within the new concept include integrated dog scales with hinged doors to provide containment for small dogs while easily adapting for larger dogs. Developed for roll-out across the estate, larger veterinary surgeries will also include a ‘bereavement room’ where owners can spend time with pets at the end of their life in a comforting, homely space outside of the regular treatment rooms.


Materials have been selected to not only create a soft, warm and homely feel, but to allow for easy cleaning and sanitising. All seating cushions are removable and washable, while finishes and materials throughout are durable and easy to maintain.

Overall Vets4Pets has been designed to have a distinctive identity while remaining an integral element of the ‘visually streamlined’ service offer at the back of the store. As well as Vets4Pets, this incorporates the evolved ‘Groom Room’, ‘Dog Self-Wash’ and the aquatics area, all within their own separate ‘niches’ with illuminated signage call-outs, so they are clearly visible and identifiable from the minute you walk into the store. Harmonising with the wider Pets at Home store environment, the concept reinforces the credibility of the vets as well as the Pets at Home service offer as a whole.

Other features we have evolved within Handforth Dean include the latest service desk design incorporating click & collect, health & hygiene and consultation areas, and a streamlined payment area.

Andrew MacLeod, Business Development Director at the Pets at Home Vet Group commented “Adrian and the Briggs Hillier team were a pleasure to work with throughout the design process and quickly understood our needs, responding to our requests by injecting some great new ideas and solutions. The process resulted in an exciting new concept for the customer space in our veterinary practices, which is both innovative and practical whilst safeguarding clinical standards. We are thrilled with the end result and think our customers will be too!”



Jenny Hillier

8th July 2021