Walmart – One Stop for Pets and People

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Retail giant Walmart is piloting its first Pet Services Center.

Walmart’s Dallas, Georgia, location has been an innovation hub of sorts for the retail giant. In 2019, it opened its first Walmart Health center at the location. In September, Walmart announced another pilot, this time for pet services.

Walmart Pet Services in Dallas, Georgia, will offer low, transparent pricing for key pet services in a central location within a dedicated storefront, according to the company. Services at the dedicated storefront will include routine veterinary care (vaccines, wellness exams and minor medical services), grooming (baths, nail trims, teeth cleaning, ear cleaning and basic hair trims) and a self-serve dog wash. All services will be provided by qualified veterinary and grooming professionals in collaboration with PetIQ.


Walmart is hoping its low prices, and access to everyday shopping needs with pet services and products bundled in will give it a competitive advantage in a marketplace that has established big retail brands such as Chewy and Petco.

The retailer pointed to recent industry data – both positive and negative – as reasons for the pet services center opening. The positive news:

  • American Pet Products Association data finding two-third of U.S. households own a pet
  • Survey data by ASPCA revealing 23 million U.S. households adopted a pet during the pandemic,
  • Morgan Stanley research forecasting the pet industry to reach $277 billion in total spending by 2030.

However, “many pet owners are feeling the burden of rising costs as pricing in the pet category continues to increase higher than the national inflation rate,” said Kaitlyn Shadiow, Vice President of Merchandising, Pets, Walmart U.S., pointing to U.S. Department of Labor numbers in September.

Pet services aren’t a new concept for Walmart. The retailer currently offers in-store vet clinics on-site in over 65 stores across the country, owned and operated by PetIQ.

Walmart also offers pet owners:

  • Pet prescriptions via its pharmacies. The retailer is promising a new online Pet Pharmacy experience via walmart.com and the Walmart app.
  • Telehealth. Walmart+ members had a limited time offer to sign up for a year of free Pawp pet care through the telehealth provider. The deal included unlimited 24/7 video or text access to Pawp’s veterinary health professionals, outcome-based care plans, digital health history, ongoing reminders and more features.
  • Pet insurance. In April 2023 Walmart and insurance carrier Nationwide announced that visitors to the Pet Care section of Walmart.com may explore Nationwide’s pet protection products, purchase a policy and learn about healthy pet ownership through curated content. This offering builds upon an existing collaboration that began with the launch of Nationwide Pet Rx ExpressSM at 4,700 Walmart pharmacies in January 2021. The first-of-its-kind program that gives Nationwide pet insurance members preferred pricing on pet prescriptions and an expedited claims filing experience.

“We’re uniquely positioned to offer significant savings to customers for all their pet care needs,” said Shadiow.

 

Photo credit: istockphoto.com/Kameleon007

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