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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Shrewsbury pet store expands into new premises to meet demand

Abbie’s Pets and Exotics has responded to growing demand from customers in Shrewsbury by moving to larger premises in the town.

Shannon McManus, Sarah Smout and Karen Smout outside the new, larger Abbie’s Pets and Exotics
Shannon McManus, Sarah Smout and Karen Smout outside the new, larger Abbie’s Pets and Exotics

The family run business has doubled in size having moved to a new store in Ditherington Road, just over a year since it was acquired by Mike and Karen Smout.

Originally located in a unit close to its new location, Abbie’s Pets and Exotics quickly outgrew the premises as it added new products and animals to its offering. 

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It has expanded further into its new 450 square metre premises with more space for additional product lines and also to become more wheelchair friendly.

The business is run by the couple along with their youngest daughter Sarah, who looks after the reptile department and also, during the first lockdown, provided a vital delivery service to customers.  The couple’s oldest daughter, Laura, is hoping to join the business in the future while their son, Steven, aims to come on board after the pandemic.

It offers a wide range of products for every pet, from dogs and cats to snakes and chipmunks, including cages, bedding, tanks, cleaning equipment and frozen and high-quality live food.  It also stocks a range of hand reared small animals such as parrots, lizards, guinea pigs and chinchillas.

Previously called Becks Pets & Exotics, it was established in 2012 and was acquired in 2019 by Mike, who has been in the pet supplies industry for 20 years, and Karen, who has been in the sector for six years as well as breeding and showing pedigree cats for 25 years, through national business brokerage specialist Hilton Smythe. 

Hilton Smythe helps facilitate the sale of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the UK and worked closely with Mike and the seller in the acquisition process.

Mike said: “The response from customers has been brilliant since we took over the business. We immediately built-up stock levels, bringing in new lines and new products, which have proven to be popular and led to the need to move to our new premises.

“In addition to being able to increase our range, the additional space we have has been particularly important as we are able to remain open during lockdowns and enable customers to maintain socially distancing, keeping themselves and my family safe when they visit the store.”

Mike added: “The support from Hilton Smythe during the acquisition process was excellent and helped ensure the transaction was really smooth so we could quickly get on with putting our own stamp on what was already quite a successful business.

“Karen and I, along with our children, are delighted with the progress we’ve made and look forward to many happy years ahead in our new premises.”

Mike’s advice to anyone thinking of buying a business: “You have got to be prepared to put the hours in, it’s not just 9-5, but it’s very rewarding.”

Gareth Smyth, CEO of Hilton Smythe, said: “Mike and Karen are brilliant business owners who are prepared to put the hours in to make a success of their enterprise.  We were really pleased to help them buy the business and it’s been great to see the growth they’re achieving as an important part of Shrewbury’s business community.”

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