Online equestrian retailer Ride-Away, newly acquired by Pets at Home, may not be a well-known brand outside of its strong Yorkshire base but it is set for rapid expansion as its new owner seeks to take the brand nationwide.
Founded in 1980 by keen horse-riders Stephen and Angela Clark, Ride-Away is a saddler and country clothing retailer which has grown to become a well-established specialist within the equine world.
The family-run company, which includes Stephen and Angela’s daughter, has now grown to a team of 40 and last year delivered turnover of £6.7m in the year to June 30, 2012.
In documents filed at Companies House, the company broke the £1m mark in its pre-tax profit, up 17.1% on last year.
The company said: “The business continues to perform well despite the tough economic conditions, with the equestrian market remaining buoyant and continuing to grow regardless of the wider economic circumstances.
“Regarding the future outlook, the directors do not anticipate any further changes in trade over the next 12 months. The group remains highly profitable.”
Ride-Away said the growth was driven by an increased customer base attracted through expanding its marketing techniques. It improved its website in the year and launched a mobile optimised site in January. It also created targeted digital and advertising campaigns.
Pets at Home aims to accelerate this brand awareness further, with the might of its 313 UK store network and its strong online offer. And it estimates that the “fragmented” £2.8bn equestrian market will “significantly expand” Pets at Home’s specialist credentials.
The catalogues are going to be one of the initial areas that Pets at Home intends to look at when expanding the brand to gain incremental shoppers, although Ride-Away said it has noticed more of its existing customer-base are choosing to shop from its website.
Ride-Away is also active on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, flagging up special offers and encouraging customers to comment on products they’ve bought.
A multichannel retailer, Ride-Away has a 15,000 sq ft store in York, which it wholly owns. Pets at Home chief executive Nick Wood told Retail Week that he is not ruling out opening more stores.