Clinics open in Walmart stores

Published on May 09, 2018
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Veterinary clinics are opening in Walmart stores.

By April 5, the pet products company PetIQ had opened its first three Walmart-based clinics in the Oklahoma cities of Bartlesville, Duncan, and Edmond. Company officials plan to have 20 by the end of June, the start of a push for more than 1,000 in Walmart and other retail stores through 2023, an announcement states.

Walmart spokeswoman Erin Hulliberger said those first 20 clinics are expected to open in Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. She said Walmart has a landlord-tenant relationship with PetIQ.

In January, PetIQ bought the clinic chain VIP Petcare, which has walk-in services at pet and feed stores. Presentation materials given in April to investors indicate VIP Petcare had 1,400 veterinarians who worked at 2,900 locations.

Information for investors indicates the expansion into retail stores is related to the purchase of VIP, but the new clinics opening inside Walmart stores will be branded under the name of pet health products company VetIQ, another PetIQ subsidiary.

Cory Ziskind, a spokesman for PetIQ, provided the locations of the first stores but declined to answer questions about clinic staffing by veterinarians or any pending agreements with other retailers. He said he was unable to share any information not previously disclosed to the public.

An announcement from PetIQ indicates PetIQ and VIP have relationships with 40 retail companies with a combined 60,000 stores. CEO Cord Christensen said in the announcement those locations "represent a significant opportunity for us to grow our veterinary services offering."

"This will enable us to further achieve our mission of providing access to convenient and affordable veterinarian care for all pet owners, including those who currently cannot afford the care they need," he said. "We are very excited to participate in this high-growth and high-potential veterinary services market."

Other materials presented to investors in January express a desire for the joined companies to increase sales of PetIQ products to VIP customers and VIP services to PetIQ customers.