Chewy Health President: New Veterinary Clinics Complete Petcare Ecosystem 

The pet category is booming. Booming more than ever, one could say.  

In fact, the global pet care market has reached $235.32 billion and is expected to keep growing from $246.66 billion in 2023 to around $368.88 billion by 2030. 

But how did we get here? 

The pandemic and a growing interest in pet ownership have driven people to treat their furry companions as family members. This shift has generated an increased demand for fashionable pet accessories, high-quality pet food, and excellent healthcare. Recognizing this trend is Chewy, which has expanded its services beyond eCommerce. 

In 2020 it launched a telehealth services. “Visiting a local vet continues to be a challenge for many pet parents during this time,” Chewy CEO Sumit Singh stated at the time of the announcement.  

Read more: Chewy Debuts Telehealth Service For Pets and Vets 

But today, the company is taking its foray into pet health even further and plans to open its first veterinary clinic early this year that will be designed to offer in-person veterinary services for Chewy customers, partners and shareholders. 

The news was shared during the company’s Investor Day at the New York Stock Exchange on Dec. 14.  

In a conversation with PYMNTS, Mita Malhotra, president at Chewy Health, delves into the company’s motivations behind this new venture and what consumers can anticipate. 

Why Pet Health

“Chewy has seen highly positive, early pet parent interest in Chewy Vet Care. Through our research, we found that customers viewed opening veterinary clinics as a natural extension of the types of services that we should be providing and of what they expect from Chewy,” Malhotra said. 

Singh said in November that shifts in consumer behavior present a significant opportunity for Chewy to solidify its position as a leader in online pet retail. He highlighted that pet owners are now prioritizing consumables and health products over traditional hard goods. 

“In the past it used to be $80 on consumables and health, and $20 on hard goods,” Singh said. “That $20 has essentially shifted out of hard goods, and most of it is now being spent on consumables and health.” 

Data also presented in the PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment series, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” found that at the time, 47% of all shoppers had opted for a more budget-friendly retailer for at least one grocery item.  

And when it came to personal care products, 33% were reported to have traded down, and for snacks, 32%. However, when it comes to pet food and supplies, only 19% of grocery shoppers made the switch to less expensive merchants. 

Consumers are looking for and keeping the best for their pets when it comes to food and supplies, but the PYMNTS hunch is that the same can be assumed when it comes to their health. 

What Consumers Can Expect

Chewy Vet Care practices are being thoughtfully designed to delight pets, pet parents and care providers,” Malhotra said. 

“Our practices will offer gold standard medical care combined with advanced technology, connecting all aspects of the Chewy pet care ecosystem with a personalized customer experience. Customers can expect to feel the same “Chewy magic” throughout our practices that we have delivered for over a decade in our core businesses.” 

Malhotra says Chewy Vet Care is all about providing veterinary services that meet the needs of both customers and partners.  

“We will open practices beginning in 2024 in select markets in the United States with high rates of pet ownership and Chewy customer density. Our first pilot location will be in Chewy’s hometown of South Florida,” Malhotra said. 

Creating an Omnichannel Experience

“With Chewy Vet Care, we are leveraging all the B2C and B2B pet health and wellness offerings that Chewy has spent years building and bundling them for use within our own ecosystem,” Malhotra said. 

By leveraging their proprietary tech stack within a custom-designed footprint, Chewy aims to unlock complementarities to reach the full potential of its healthcare infrastructure, Malhotra said.  

And when it comes to B2B partnerships, Malhotra said, “What’s most exciting about the Chewy Health story is we are developing an ecosystem that encompasses both B2C products and services built for customers and B2B products designed to support and advance the veterinary community,” Malhotra said. 

“In the last 5 years, we’ve built this entire ecosystem deliberately as an “open to all ecosystem” that is fully available for our partners to use. Not many teams can innovate at the speed we have to develop something that is completely proprietary and highly differentiated that unlocks value for customers and veterinarians alike.” 

Today, Chewy Health is a $3 billion business with profits, and according to Malhotra, it’s “just getting started.”