About us

Welcome to  A Coombs Pet Centre

A Coombs Pet Centre is one of the oldest pet stores in the UK!



It first opened its doors in November 1934 by Allan and Joan Coombs, back then the pet trade was in its infancy and so A Coombs Pet Centre began embarking in a trade that was not only new to them, but the whole country as well.

The Husband and Wife team run the store together for many years. Allan was a very charismatic character and was very much involved in every part of his business. He enjoyed serving the customers and interacting with them on a daily basis. His passion for retail is what made the store so popular.

In later years Allan and Joans children Peter and Rosemary joined the store to help their parents. The family worked side by side together to make the store a household name in Brighton and Hove.

Looking through its history, A Coombs Pet Centre has been through some turbulent times. It has survived one world war and two global recessions! The longevity of this independent, family run pet store is due to the fact that it has become an integral part of the community in Brighton and Hove. Generations of families have all bought pets from the Baker Street store. Known affectionately as 'Coombs' by the locals this store has gone from strength to strength since its opening in the early 30's.


In 1959 a young boy named Robert Harper joined the company. He started as a Saturday worker, cleaning the animals out and sweeping the floor. He worked his way up to manager. Through the years Robert and Peter Coombs became the best of friends. When Allan and Joan stepped away from the business, Robert and Peter worked together to not only keep the shop busy but to also improve and expand the store.


In 2005 Peter Coombs retired and sold the business to his lifelong friend Robert Harper. Together with his sons, Robert has continued to run the business with the same enthusiasm and ethics as the original Coombs family.


In 2010 the Harper family took the business one step further by expanding with the opening of their second store in Portland Road, Hove. Run by Roberts youngest son and namesake this store was voted Pet Retailer of the Year in 2011 by the Pet Industry Federation. This national accolade is a testament to all the hard work and love that has been put into this business by both the Coombs and Harper families.


They continue to strive to improve their businesses with extra endeavours such as later opening hours, Home deliveries, Micro-chipping, 7 days a week opening and an international website. Their proactive attitude and family values means that A Coombs Pet Centre really is one of the best Pet Stores in the UK.

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