Pets at Home is to unveil an upgraded app and website in the new year that will deliver a “step change” as the retailer burnishes its omnichannel credentials.

The new digital propositions will play a role in driving Pets at Home’s ambition to be the “world’s best petcare platform”, chief executive Lyssa McGowan said.

She did not reveal details or an exact launch for the app and site but said they would have a better, more intuitive design and incorporate features such as visibility of customer vouchers and improved recommendations wrapped up in an overall better customer experience.

The changes will also enable a “step on” with subscriptions, a growing part of Pets’ business. In the first half, subscription penetration overall was up 2% and nutrition subscriptions climbed 56%. Altogether, Pets has 1.7 million subscriptions and said its three core schemes were all “in solid growth”. The launch of in-store sign-up accelerated “easy repeat” take-up.

The launch will follow a period of investment for Pets at Home, which has now past its peak. Alongside the digital improvements, the retailer has invested in a new distribution centre and relaunched its brand. Although there were some availability problems as the distribution centre came on stream, those are now past and McGowan said availability is probably “the best it’s ever been”.

As well as investing, Pets at Home has been seeking to cut costs. The retailer said that where it has actively sought to reduce rents it has typically achieved an average reduction of 20%. Similar savings are expected on 45 leases being renegotiated this financial year.