May 08 2019

Walmart launches new online pet pharmacy

It’s well known that millennials are struggling with student debt, but those who own pets aren’t skimping when it comes to feeding and caring for their four-footed family members. So says Walmart, which on Tuesday announced it’s looking to tap into that lucrative younger market by launching an online pet pharmacy and in-store veterinary clinics.

Walmart said its site now offers discounted prescriptions from more than 300 brands for dogs, cats, horses and livestock. 

Walmart already operates 21 veterinary clinics in six states, and will open nine more in Texas later this month and in June in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The retailer in 12 months will have 100 clinics running where pet owners can bring their animals to be vaccinated or examined for minor illnesses, it said.

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The retailer has also expanded its online assortment to include more organic and grain-free pet food options, including a private-label brand with ingredients such as farm-raised chicken. 

The moves have Walmart competing with PetSmart’s online business, Chewy.com, which also has an online pharmacy. Chewy.com recent filed papers with regulators to ready for an initial public offering.

Millennial dog owners spend as much as $1,285 a year on their four-footed friends, with the majority of that going toward vet care and vaccinations, food and supplies, Walmart said in a blog post, which cited TD Ameritrade for the estimate. 

Americans are pampering their pets more than ever, and will spend $75 billion on their animals this year, the American Pet Product Association estimates.

Steve Simmons | News and Articles

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