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First Look: Walmart opens its first-ever pet services center

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Walmart’s transparent, affordable health care model is going to the dogs. Literally. 

In a pilot that expands its traditional pet supplies business, the retail giant has opened its first-ever dedicated Pet Services center, in the Atlanta suburb of Dallas, Ga. It’s located in the same store where Walmart opened the doors to its first Walmart Health center in 2019. 

The new center, which has its own separate entrance and dedicated storefront, will offer low, transparent pricing for key pet services for dogs and cats. Services 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.  The prices for all services are displayed  on a sign above the counter, with a range that goes from $9 for self-service wash to $97 for a vet services "vital package."

All services will be provided by qualified veterinary and grooming professionals in collaboration with PetIQ, which currently owns and operates vet clinics on-site in more than 65 Walmart stores.   

The retailer noted that all its pharmacies stock the top pet medications.  

“The Walmart Pet Services center in Dallas, Georgia will serve as a pilot where we’ll learn how best to work with our collaborators and optimize services to deliver on quality, affordability and accessibility,” said Kaitlyn Shadiow, VP of merchandising, pets, Walmart U.S.

“It's our goal to bring the Walmart Pet Services model to other communities we serve in the future.”

Shadiow said it was a natural decision to pilot its first pet services center in the same location where it opened its first health center.

“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,” she added. 

The opening comes as the pet industry has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years,  and is expected to reach $277 billion in total spending by 2023.  Unfortunately, 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,  according to Walmart.

 “We know that pet services are essential for pet parents, but for many, the experience can be costly and disjointed,” said Shadiow. “At Walmart, we have an opportunity to help our customers save precious money, time and effort by offering a destination for pet services at the same place they purchase their pet food and supplies.”

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