Wilmslow-based pet and vet retailer Pets at Home Group said on Friday it will repay in full the £28.9 million of business rates relief received across the business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This decision reflects the company’s guiding principle of treating all stakeholders fairly and is supported by the continuing strong performance of the business,” said the company.
“We remain extremely grateful for the financial support provided in March as we rapidly adapted our operations to be able to continue, as an ‘essential’ retailer, meeting the needs of the nation’s pets while keeping colleagues, customers, suppliers and, of course, pets as safe as possible in unprecedented circumstances.
“Our priority then, and ever since, has been the safety and wellbeing of all of our stakeholders.
“The aggregate result of Covid-specific costs and restrictions means that the financial impact of the pandemic on our business this year, currently estimated at over £35m, will no longer be offset by the rates relief received.
“Nevertheless, ten months into this unprecedented and challenging environment, our adaptability and recent sustained performance across the business means that we are now, more than ever, confident in the strength and longevity of our pet care platform and proud to be repaying the business rates relief in full from this position of strength.”