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Petco Expands Veterinary Centers

Photo Courtesy of Brett.

Petco is extending its move beyond food and supply sales by looking to add 50 to 55 locations of its growing slate of veterinary offices in the coming year. The retailer aims to capitalize on the rise of pet adoptions since the start of the pandemic, especially among Gen Z and millennial customers, by boosting medical and other service offerings.

“We added over 1,100 veterinarians to our ecosystem in 2022, representing a 40% increase" from a year ago, CEO Ron Coughlin told analysts during a quarterly earnings call Wednesday. He said the company opened 50 full-service vet hospitals during 2022, in line with expectations, bringing its total to 247 hospitals nationwide — well up from just 10 at the start of 2018.

San Diego-based Petco, among the nation’s largest pet supply retailers with more than 1,500 locations, is also doubling down on its online sales of fresh pet foods to customers for pickup and delivery, using existing stores as “micro distribution centers.”

Executives said Petco entered into a partnership with fresh-frozen pet food maker Freshpet to offer customers direct deliveries through subscription services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Petco reported sales of $1.6 billion for the fourth quarter and $6 billion for full-year 2022, both up 4% from year-earlier periods. Net income was $32.7 million for the quarter, up 13% from a year earlier, and $90.8 million for the full year, down 45%.

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