New three-day PATS gets thumbs up

Company: PATS
  • L-R: Jo Sutton - Discount Foods with husband Rob; Paula Machin - The Pet Stop; and Sammie Hunt -, Re

Award-winning pet retailers have welcomed news that PATS 2024 will be a THREE-DAY exhibition, allowing them more time to see new products from a greater number of companies.

PATS 2024 will be staged at Telford International Centre from Sunday 29th September to Tuesday 1st October 2024, and will have the capacity to accommodate more than 400 exhibitors, compared to this year’s record number of 256.

Regular PATS visitor Discount Feeds collected the PetQuip Retailer of the Year Award 2023 during the Telford show in October. Owner of the Wetherby-based pet store Jo Sutton said: “Having attended the show for the past seven years we find it invaluable for keeping up to date with the industry. Seeing a huge growth in the number of exhibitors present during that time, I think it’s a great step to extend the show over three days. We will definitely stay over and enjoy the multiple days in 2024.”

Another award-winning pet store – The Pet Stop, Market Deeping, Lincs – is looking forward to the new PATS format. Owner Paula Machin, who collected the Independent Retailer of the Year accolade at the recent PIF Awards, said: “We go to PATS every year and it’s always difficult to cover the whole event in one day. Extending the exhibition by an extra day, especially if there are more exhibitors to see, is a big advantage as far as we are concerned, and we’ll definitely be staying overnight. We love going to see all the new products – it keeps us ahead of the game by constantly changing our stock. PATS is also a great place to discover new suppliers.”

Sammie Hunt, owner of multi award-winning store Redpaw Pet Supplies, added: “I think the changes to PATS are exciting, especially for us as we travel up from Devon. We intend to stay for the extra day as it will give us more time and opportunities to spend with regular and new suppliers. PATS is the only time we get to talk ‘face to face’ and this extra time will be so valuable. Also not having to hurry around, to get to talk to the many new potential suppliers, is great for retailers. All the changes are positive and I’m looking forward to it already.”

Retail group Just for Pets won the title of PetQuip Retailer of the Year in 2021 and followed up that success by being crowned Retail Chain of the Year at the PIF Awards in 2022. Head of buying Leanne Blunn looked forward to PATS 2024, commenting: “It’s the go-to event for independent pet retailers. Having the show over three days will give retailers more time to stop and connect with suppliers.”

PATS organisers will be working closely with PetQuip to encourage an increasing number of international buyers to next year’s show. Trade Federation Manager Susan Fairley said: “The new three-day timeline will add value for both UK and international buyers. The last day of the Telford show this year was notably busy right up until the end, so it’s clear that the current visitors will welcome more time to complete their visit. For international buyers, the extended show days will make their trip more beneficial.”

Barcelona-based Rob James, of Petwork Marketing, sources UK-manufactured products for a network of 50 stores across Spain and has attended PATS in the past with partner and pet shop owner Mireia Sabate De Vale. He said: “I will certainly attend PATS for a minimum of two days and probably all three. A well organised trade fair is vital for our company. It gives us the opportunity to not only conduct a great deal of business, but it also facilitates the introduction to many new products that we would otherwise struggle to find the time to see. I am delighted the show has grown into a three-day annual event and that even more manufacturers and distributors will be able to exhibit. It will prove to be a good use of our time and resources.”

The new three-day show will retain all its popular features:

  • New Product Showcase and Awards
  • New Starter Zone
  • Grooming Workshop
  • Deals and Discounts

There will be free entry for visitors, a free show catalogue, free parking for up to 1,300 cars and a complimentary tea/coffee voucher.

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