Now that the first wave of retail IPOs has got away it’s good to see that newly quoted companies are embracing potential growth opportunities that, if successful, will reward new investors.

Now that the first wave of retail IPOs has got away it’s good to see that newly quoted companies are embracing potential growth opportunities that, if successful, will reward new investors.

We revealed this week a new format from Pets at Home, a dedicated ‘doggy boutique’ called Barkers, that will be rolled out if the trial store is a success.

The retailer set out to create “the best dog shop in the world” and Barkers sounds as if it blends the enthusiasm for pets, sense of fun and business nous – in the form of a product range that’s 85% exclusive - that has characterised the business to date.

Whether the store, which features services ranging from Reiki massages for dogs (yes, really) to more conventional grooming and food, is a model that can be replicated at scale will become clear in due course.

The fact that the first branch is in the affluent, footballers’ wives-style Cheshire town of Wilmslow suggests Barkers is likely to do best in places – perhaps limited in number - where pooches really are pampered.

But equally it’s not so very long that the idea of hiring a dog-walker seemed a risible extravagance, so Pets may well be on to something.

As the retailer seeks to extend its reach through added value services such as veterinary surgeries, there may be more opportunities to come.

Perhaps Pets could take inspiration from Evelyn Waugh’s comic novel The Loved One and open a chain of Happier Hunting Ground pet funeral parlours.

Are retailer valuations reflecting multichannel strength?

Following the IPO valuations attached to online retailers Ao.com and Boohoo.com, there has been debate about whether the ecommerce prowess of other retailers remains unrecognized in valuations.

The power of Next’s Directory business has been cited as one example. Might Kingfisher be another?

It was Kingfisher’s multichannel Screwfix business, which delivered a sales advance of 17.6% last year, that put extra fuel in the engine of B&Q.

Now that Screwfix is expanding outside the UK it is likely only to gain in importance.