"Pet merchandise has consistently been a top search component at Walmart.com, and (we're) complementing what our Wal-mart stores already offer," said Tricia Doty, Walmart.com's director of merchandising, home and family, in a statement. "Seventy-two percent of pet owners buy their pets holiday gifts."
One competitive target of the new Wal-Mart offering is PetsMart, which primarily addresses the pet market through its stores. A study by Bain & Company, released this week, noted that while Petsmart can't compete effectively with Wal-Mart on prices, PetsMart has more variety, and pet owners like the idea that they can bring their pets into PetsMart stores.
Wal-Mart is still trying to make amends for an incident earlier this year when store managers at an Indiana Wal-Mart store shot a cat that wouldn't leave a trailer. The firm apologized for the incident.