New store Ruff It baying to be a dog’s best friend

Chris Wood, the founder of Ruff It, with his dog Leonard

Chris Wood, the founder of Ruff It, with his dog Leonard

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RUFF It, an online supplier of dog accessories, is set to launch a retail store in Edinburgh as owner Chris Wood seeks to create a chain of local “communities” for owners and their pets across Scotland.

The first will open in Morningside at the beginning of Dec­ember, with Wood targeting sales of £90,000 in its inaugural year. That figure is forecast to climb to nearly £1 million by 2021, by which time Wood expects to have opened a further four Ruff It stores.

The Morningside shop will stock a range of premium dog food, including gluten and grain-free options, as well as organic treats, beds, grooming supplies and first aid items. It will also supply niche activity products such as Canicross equipment, which allows owners to take their dogs off-road running.

Wood launched ruff-it.co.uk two years ago with £20,000 in proceeds from the sale of his lettings business, Woodstar Properties, which he set up in 2004.

It was sold to Lomond Capital in February 2013, paving the way for the launch of the online shop nine months later.

The firm says it prides itself on its customer service, “illustrated by our five-star reviews on TrustPilot”, Wood said.

“We will provide the same, exceptional levels of customer service as our online business, but now we can offer this face-to-face, which I think is key.

“Our aim is to do more than provide high-quality products and produce in a stylish shop for our canine friends. We want to create a real community for dog owners across our shops and online, providing a comfortable space to shop, learn and discuss all things dog-related with our very friendly and knowledgeable staff.”

The stores will also sell can­ine life jackets, and will be the only UK retailer to stock the Ruffit USA dog carrier. Devices will be available in-store for customers to browse and buy other products, such as hiking, camping and travel supplies, from the online shop.

“We believe we’ll be able to provide dog owners with much more than any other retailer, in terms of our variety of products in-store coupled with online,” Wood added. “And with our 100 per cent customer/dog oriented approach to service and advice, we hope to become the ‘leader of the pack’ in Scotland’s dog retail market.”

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