A PET shop in the heart of Stockton Heath has praised its 'loyal' customers after surpassing the 20,000 online order milestone.

Pets Pantry, on London Road, which was opened in 1980 by Karen Hodgkins, only brought its range of 10,000 products to the web in 2011.

But celebrations have been taking place since last month after the store announced more than 20,000 orders have been processed online.

The shop has never stocked pets, instead focusing on providing food and accessories for animals across the country.

The web service offers an instant chat option, next day delivery and stock listings – but Karen admits the success would not have been possible without the support from customers.

She said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have reached this milestone and would like to thank all of our loyal customers.

"We look forward to providing many more customers with the service they deserve.

"The dedication of our growing team is a crucial part of the websites success, from packing orders accurately, to writing useful product descriptions, the effort all the team puts in has resulted in so many happy customers.

"We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our shop and internet customers, as well as the entire team that have made this possible."

Karen's son Leo, Pets Pantry's technical online co-ordinator, has played a key role in the development of the web service.

The 27-year-old said: "We initially did it to try to bring in more customers but we never expected it to do as well as it has done.

"It was one of those things we thought would help as we wanted to offer something different.

"Realistically, we just thought it would be a nice little addition to the shop.

"But the success is all down to the customers, their support over the years has helped a lot."