In the Italian capital Rome, Arcaplanet opened its 500th store in the southern suburb of Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR) at the end of January. A few days later, it was announced that the store chain, which merged with the Maxi Zoo Italia subsidiary of the Fressnapf Group last year after having received the assent of the Italian cartel authority, would now step up its expansion. Arcaplanet revealed its acquisition of the Sicilian pet store chain Max Casa and its 18 branches, thus increasing its pet store inventory to 520 stores at a stroke. It is expected that all the Max Casa stores, eight of which are located in Palermo, will be converted to Arcaplanet stores by April. CEO Nicolò Galante says of the latest acquisition: “One of our main aims for 2023 is to expand in the retail trade. This has been given significant impetus in southern Italy by the acquisition of the 18 Max Casa stores. Our presence in Sicily will be strengthened considerably by this new operation, but it is also fundamentally important for us that we have taken over all the store staff of Max Casa. This gives new team members the opportunity to improve their skills in a new field of merchandising.”
Focus on customer approach
The retailer stresses that these first important milestones open a year full of objectives aimed at improving the all-round customer approach, such as the strong omnichannel push with the launch of the new app. The introduction of this new tool is set to enable the activation of additional services, the investment to improve the click & collect already chosen by 25 per cent of digital customers, and the complete overhaul of the loyalty programme supplemented by the implementation of sophisticated marketing automation.
Another priority for this year is investment in training the company’s own employees at the Arcaplanet Academy. The background to this is a facility which offers a training plan for all employees, fostering internal growth with customised career development plans. In 2022, more than 60 000 hours of training were provided, with a special focus on new resources initiated into the role of a pet specialist. In 2023, the entire Arcaplanet workforce will be involved with training plans on innovation, digital integration and customer service, with an increase in training hours of over 30 per cent compared with the previous year.