A breed apart

Animor founder, Patrick Magrath explains how their new membership-based approach to pet healthcare will make a real difference for pet owners across the UK. As Animor starts to build a portfolio of purpose-built healthcare centres, we look at the opportunities the expansion drive presents to property owners.


Animor is opening its first veterinary centres with Sainsbury’s in Ellesmere Port and Sudbury. The purpose-built pods will provide a one-stop-shop for pet owners through a simple membership model in easy to reach locations. As GCW helps the brand roll out its offer across the UK, it is giving landowners the opportunity to boost footfall and monetise underutilised space.


A fresh approach


The UK is, as we all know, a nation of pet lovers. We cherish our furry friends and people go above and beyond to keep their pets healthy. Yet that is easier said than done. A trip to the vets often leaves you feeling short changed, both in terms of customer service and value for money. When you then factor in navigating the minefield of pet insurance, you can see why many pet owners are reticent to seek treatment.


As a frustrated pet owner, Patrick Magrath was adamant there must be a better way and set about developing an alternative approach to first opinion veterinary care in the UK. That heralded the arrival of Animor, a new breed of pet healthcare provider which puts animal welfare at the heart of its business strategy.


“Advances in animal medicine have progressed rapidly in recent years, in parallel with the advances in human medicine and consumer technology that we’ve all experienced. But the everyday reality is that the ability of many pet owners to get the best treatment and care for their animals is often limited by unnecessary complexity and financial considerations. We aim to change that with Animor”, says Patrick.


Animor promotes itself as a one-stop-shop for pet healthcare. Its three-tier membership model is easy to understand and incorporates a 6-monthly Animor Vitality health assessment which shifts the focus from treatment to prevention. The pricing model changes the dynamic of the clinician and customer relationship collaboratively in the interest of the animal.


Point of delivery


Patrick insists “This disruptive model is designed to completely change the way the market works and how and where the service is delivered.” All Animor’s centres will be purpose-built and in easy-to-reach locations.


Animor has already agreed a deal with Sainsbury’s to open its first two healthcare centres outside its stores in Ellesmere Port and Sudbury. The 1,600 sq ft prefabricated pods will be owned by Sainsbury’s and provide pet healthcare to both members and pay-as-you-go customers. The centres will be fitted out with 3 consultation rooms, two operating theatres and clinical facilities.


Animor is one of Sainsbury’s new concession partners and the supermarket will be hoping that the partnership proves as successful as the one with Specsavers. “Animor’s centres should be even easier to roll out given that they are not inside the footprint of the store”, says Patrick.


Long-term partnerships


Now that Animor has come to an agreement with Sainsbury’s it is looking to woo other major property owners. GCW is advising Animor on its property strategy and is in discussion with a number of potential property partners.


GCW Director Gareth Storer explains: “Animor has the potential to create a comprehensive network of pet healthcare centres across the UK. It should be very scalable as we set about building in easy to access locations with plenty of parking.”


Animor is willing to either rent ready built centres as it will with Sainsbury’s, or lease land for their prefabricated building offer. Gareth believes the prospect will prove particularly appealing to owners of garden centres, shopping centres, industrial or retail parks who want to drive footfall and utilise excess space.


If Animor can carve itself a niche in the pet healthcare, it can tap into a fast-growing consumer market. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, there are 34 million pets in the UK. Ownership has increased dramatically during the pandemic, and it would seem there has never been a better time to be introducing a more transparent and affordable healthcare offer.


Patrick says: “We’re keen to form long-term relationships with landlords. True collaboration can deliver real benefits to everyone involved, and we are open to conversations with anyone who can help us deliver our vision.”