Pets at Home selected as the Proud of My Store winner for May

Inspirational, motivational and sometimes even a tiny bit emotional – the Proud of My Store 2022 entries have all been fantastic to read. Our second monthly winner – Pets at Home, Wallhead Road in Rochdale – is no exception, and Assistant Manager Jo Irlam’s pride in every member of her team shines through her entry. We caught up with Jo to dig a little deeper.

Congratulations Jo – how do you feel about your win? 

We’re all so excited! Our hamper has just arrived and the whole team is delighted. I’m so proud of our team, the store and the community that shops with us. 


What do you think is the secret to your success? 

It’s the relationships we build with our customers. We’re in the middle of a housing estate here so we have lots and lots of regulars. We love to see each and every one of them – especially when they bring their dogs! Pets at Home are big on customer first, task second and that’s something we always try to represent as a management team. If you spend 20 minutes talking to a customer that’s a good use of your time. The priority is for the customer to leave happy. The rest of the tasks will get done.  



How do you get the best out of your team?  

Of course, we have company-wide and store incentives – there’s nothing like a little bit of competition to get our guys going in the morning, even if the prize is only a bar of chocolate! But for me, it comes back to listening to customers. For example, like a lot of people right now, our customers are thinking about making their money go further – all pet owners hate the idea of their animals going without. So how can we help with that? As a manager, it’s my job to make sure our colleagues are up-to-date on the best bulk-buy bargains or know their way around the deals on our app – but then it’s about giving them the confidence and space to listen and build relationships. If you have people who have that passion for great service, they’ll naturally want to share great deals. Getting the best out of people isn’t about numbers or KPIs, it’s about wanting to genuinely help people and their animals.  

Pets at home rochdale


How important is community to your store?   

We’re here for our community’s pet needs and we get to know our customers over years and years. But we also do things like run free kid’s workshops at the weekends to educate them about pets. They get to have a cuddle with a rabbit or guinea pig, or meet our mascot, Robbie the dog. They make treats for our animals and leave with a box full of information, colouring sheets and stickers. It’s so much fun but there’s a serious side too – we want the children to grow up to be responsible pet owners. 

We also help our charity partner Pennine Pen Animal Rescue with fundraising weekends, donations and supporting them with information on our community board in the store. They do amazing work and we’re proud to support them. As a team we aren’t afraid to get stuck in when it comes to charity – karaoke-offs, dress-up days – we’ve even made a video! 


Can you sum up the power of local in your store? 

Our customers and their pets are part of our store and we’re proud to help them. As a management team, it’s our job to empower our team to give our customers the best service possible – whether that’s advice about pet care, sharing the latest deals or hearing what we could do better. My philosophy is as long as you’re talking and listening to customers then you’re doing a great job. We’re a family here, but we’re a family that shares a passion – our customers and their pets. Everything else flows from there. 


Read their full entry here. 

The Proud of My Store competition 2022 closes on 30th June - To enter your store in just 2 minutes, click here.