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Wallis & Son Land Rover showroom in Barton to open pet supplies shop

The Wallis & Son Land Rover showroom in Barton, an established family business founded back in 1937 by Geoffrey Wallis and his dad Percy Wallis, is to open a new pet supplies shop on its premises.

Percy Wallis was the great-grandfather of Wallis & Son’s present managing director, Elliot Wallis, who also runs Wallis Defenders, which specialises in Land Rover Defenders – including the limited edition Wallis Defender GYRO.

Wallis & Son in Barton
Wallis & Son in Barton

Elliot, the second cousin of the late Ken Wallis, the famed inventor, aviator and engineer who designed, built and flew the Little Nellie autogyro as a stand-in for Sean Connery in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice, says: “The idea is we’re going to open a big pet shop in the next six months, but this is a small taster.

“We’ve just been rebranded and we’ve doubled the size of our shop, and within that we’ve got a pet section and more hot food options.”

He notes that the people stocking the shop have commented that the space is comparable in size to that of a garden centre.

“So it’s a big section but hopefully we’re going to go bigger with that, if it takes off,” says Elliot, “and we’ll do horse food, sheep food… bigger bulk stuff.”

[Read more: Bond’s ‘Little Nellie’ autogyro flies into Wallis & Sons’ showroom in Cambridgeshire]

The idea for a pet shop came about due to the lack of similar shops in the surrounding area.

The hot food options mentioned previously include a hot dog machine and a burger machine, and a fresh orange juice machine is also being installed.

“A bit like what we did in the 80s and 90s when my mother and father ran it here,” explains Elliot, “one of my customers came in the other day and said he remembered when it was much bigger than it is now with lots and lots of different things – and that’s what we’re going to do.

“We’re not going to be a grocery store, per se, but we’re going to have groceries, we’ll have a bit of everything.

“We’re still going to have fresh meats in there – not a butcher’s, but we’ll have fresh meat – we’re going to have ready meals to go, local things as well...”

The new pet shop is set to open on Monday (18 March), with an official launch to follow on Wednesday (20 March).

At the official launch, Brian, a member of staff at Wallis & Son, will be dressed as a dog and will be giving out flyers on the forecourt for 10 per cent off pet supplies.

For more information on Wallis & Son, visit wallisandson.co.uk.

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