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Walmart is getting into the veterinary business

Walmart is getting into the veterinary business
[Photo: Flickr user Aidras]

Walmart wants in on the $70 billion-a-year pet industry. That means you’ll soon be able to pick up a party pack of Tostitos, a flat-screen TV, hand towels, and get your dog de-wormed while you shop at the world’s biggest retailer. The megastore announced plans to open 100 veterinary clinics in its stores within the next 12 months, adding to the 21 clinics it has today. It will offer services such as exams, vaccinations, and treatments for minor illnesses at discounts of up to 60% off.

[Image: courtesy of Walmart]
Additionally, starting Tuesday, Walmart will open the virtual doors on a new online pharmacy, WalmartPetRx.com, which will deliver pet medications from more than 300 brands to customers’ homes and businesses. If your precious pooch’s pet meds cost more than $35, they will qualify for Walmart’s free two-day shipping. You’ll never forget heart-worm medicine again once the company starts adding pet medications to its stores. It expects that by the end of May, it will carry the top 30 requested pet medications for same-day pickup from its 4,500 U.S. pharmacies.

The new additions should help Walmart attract those all-important pet-owner dollars, while cutting into the market share of sites like Chewy.com, which just happens to be preparing for its IPO. Walmart’s move positions the company to compete with Amazon, which owns Wag; Target. which sells BarkBox toys and treats; Petco, which sells fresh pet food; and companies like General Mills, Smucker, and Nestlé, which have each bought pet-food brands in the past three years.

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