Asda plans to open pet centres at two or three more stores by the end of the year after the success of centres in Hartlepool and Coventry.

Pet care buyer Ayaz Alam said: “Customer feedback has been fantastic and the centres have attracted different types of customers to Asda.”

He said that after setting up two or three more pet care departments, Asda would analyse the sales data and use it to plan further developments. He was optimistic that the roll-out would continue throughout 2004, although no firm target for numbers of pet care centres has been laid down.

Alam added that Asda was planning to relaunch the concept of pet insurance before the end of 2003.