Pets at Home intends to open 100 smaller format stores in a departure from its typical format.

Pets at Home’s shops are usually between 7,000 sq ft and 10,000 sq ft but the retailer, acquired by KKR earlier this year for £955m, is now seeking properties of between 3,000 sq ft and 6,000 sq ft to “fill in the gaps in the network”, chief executive Matt Davies revealed.

Davies said: “We will use a combination of smaller and larger stores to maximise the pet spend. We are challenging ourselves in terms of developing our format. It’s not always right to open a big store. It varies according to the local catchment and how close the potential locations are to our existing stores.

“We are more confident as to the number of stores the UK can support. We have the opportunity to double the size of the business as it stands today.”

He said the exact design of the small shops had not yet been decided.

Davies said the bulk of the new openings would be on retail parks to take advantage of parking facilities. “We are reluctant to open stores smaller than 4,000 sq ft, so the focus will be 4,000 sq ft upwards,” he said.

Pets at Home will continue to open superstores.