Can Walmart dominate the veterinary industry?

On September 20, Walmart opened its first-ever pet service center in Dallas, Georgia at a pre-existing Walmart store. According to Walmart’s announcement, “the new center will offer a variety of pet services, including veterinary care and grooming, in a dedicated storefront.” »

Fox Business noted that plans for the move began in 2019 when Walmart announced plans “to open several dozen additional veterinary clinics in its stores across the country as well as launch an online pet pharmacy that will deliver pet medications straight to your door in hopes of attracting millennial pet owners who spend more than $1,285 a year on their furry loved ones.

Dog and cat owners no longer need to travel far to get top-notch care; The Walmart Pet Services center provides routine veterinary services, ranging from timely vaccinations and wellness exams to minor medical procedures. The center also offers a full range of grooming services, including baths, nail trimming and teeth cleaning sessions.

The new pet center in Georgia was specially chosen since Walmart also built its first-ever health center in the same location in 2019. The company plans to roll out future Walmart Pet Services centers based on the Georgia model. Additionally, “Walmart currently offers 65 locations with in-store veterinary clinics, which are owned and operated by PetIQ.”

Fox Company that “the push for more affordable pet health care comes as prices continue to rise in the pet category, at a level higher than the national inflation rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the United States “. With 66% of American households owning pets, according to the American Pet Products AssociationMillions of Americans are feeling the pressure of rising costs to care for their pets.

In its announcement, Walmart said its new pet services center “will offer low, transparent pricing for key pet services.” He also said that “improving access to convenient, affordable health care for our customers is at the heart of our mission to help people save money and live better.” »

Walmart also recently released a new subscription service which allows customers to “schedule automatic deliveries of their favorite frequently purchased items at a cadence that matches their preferences,” including pet food, cat litter, treats, and more.

In the United States, pets like dogs and cats are increasingly considered part of the family, leading to increased consumer spending on everything from veterinary care to trendy pet accessories. of pets – and Walmart isn’t the only retailer to notice this trend. Various companies are striving to tap into this growing market. For example, Kohl’s began dedicating sections of its stores specifically to pet products. Likewise, Lowe’s, after a successful trial, is expanding its initiative by integrating Petco Health and Wellness mini stores and offering mobile veterinary services in many other locations.

CNBC explained that “retailers view the pet space, much like children’s goods, as an attractive area because consumers are generally still willing to spend when their budget is tight or the economy is going through tough times” .

However, this sector is never guaranteed. Earlier in 2023, Petco, Chewy and General Mills, which make Blue Buffalo dog food, “warned that some pet owners were becoming more price sensitive and even switching to cheaper pet foods as ‘they were facing inflation’.


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