As Petco looks to expand in ways that could insulate it from the competition, it is betting on in-store vet services and a new ethos. Online giant Chewy's, traditional rival PetSmart, and even Walmart are encroaching on Petco's space as a pet supplies retailer, so Petco is diversifying its offering and rebranding itself as "Petco, the Health + Wellness Co." As part of its new emphasis on animal health and wellness, Petco has pledged to stop selling shock collars. It is also opening more full-service in-store veterinarian clinics. It currently operates about 100 of these, but by January, that number will have grown to 140, with many more to come. A new membership program offers unlimited vet visits and dog nail trims for $228 a year.
"We’re transitioning from being a company that asks, ‘Can I help you put that big bag of dog food into your cart?' into a full health and wellness company," Petco CEO Ron Coughlin tells Fortune.