November 18, 2020
Along with buying bags of dog and cat food, pet owners can now turn to Walmart to buy insurance and find a sitter for their beloved animals.
Starting Thursday, the retailer said it will sell pet insurance from Petplan and connect customers to dog walking and more through Rover. It is launching Walmart Pet Care, a new landing page on its website as a central hub where customers can find its full range of animal products and services.
“We’re focused on bringing our customers and the beloved pets in their lives trusted, convenient and affordable programs at one destination,” she said. “And we’ll continue to focus on that.”
Walmart is adding to its pet offerings at a time when more Americans are adopting new dogs, cats and other critters. The pandemic pet boom has also turned chew toys, seasonal costumes and pet supplies into a popular gift-giving category this holiday season.
Even before the pandemic, pet care was a growing market. The U.S. pet care industry is projected to increase from a $53 billion market to about $64 billion over the next four years, according to Jefferies research.
That has increased competition between companies that want a bigger slice of the pie, including superstores like PetSmart and Petco, big-box retailers like Walmart and Target and e-commerce players like Chewy.
Walmart estimates that 90 million pet owners shop at its stores and website. Last year, it launched online pet pharmacy, WalmartPetRX, that sells prescriptions and hundreds of brands for dogs, cats, horses and livestock.
By offering multiple services, the retailer hopes pet owners will spend more at its stores. For example, customers who get pet insurance through Walmart may later get pet medications filled at its pharmacy.