Walmart on Wednesday opened its first Pet Services center, offering grooming and veterinary care in the same place where shoppers can buy pet food and supplies, the retail giant announced.
The Pet Services center is located in Dallas, Georgia, about 35 miles northwest of Atlanta, in the same store where Walmart opened its first Health Center in 2019.
The nation’s largest retailer said it is looking to create a one-stop shop for pet owners.
“Now, customers will be able to conveniently access their family’s basic health care solutions in one central location, including the health care needs of their furry friends,” Kaitlyn Shadiow, Walmart’s VP of merchandising, pets, said in a company blog post.
The center will serve as a test site so the retailer can learn how best to deliver veterinary services, Walmart said, adding that it intends to expand the model to stores in other communities.
Walmart currently has in-store vet clinics at over 65 locations across the country, but all of those are owned and operated by outside firm PetIQ. At the new Pet Services center, all veterinary and grooming services will be provided by professionals in collaboration with PetIQ, Walmart said.
Walmart said it is also adding a new online pet pharmacy platform on its website and app, and that it recently launched a subscription service that, among other products, lets pet owners order shipments of food and supplies on a regular cadence.
“Based on our pilot testing, the pet category has been where customers have most eagerly embraced this convenience,” Shadiow said.
The Pet Services center has a dedicated entrance, the retailer said, since only service animals are allowed in stores. The facility will offer “low, transparent pricing for key pet services” such as vaccinations, wellness exams, baths, nail trims, teeth cleaning and more. The space also includes a self-service dog wash.
Citing statistics from the American Pet Products Association, Walmart said more than two-thirds of U.S. households own a pet, and more than 23 million households adopted a pet during the pandemic, helping it grow to an expected $277 billion industry by 2023.