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The Pet Retail Showdown: Chewy vs Petco vs Amazon

Chewy: The Top Dog in Online Pet RetailIf you’re a pet parent, you know that your furry friend is a member of the family. From food and treats to medication and toys, finding high-quality pet-related items is essential.

Chewy, an online retailer that specializes in pet products, makes it easy for pet owners to find everything they need for their four-legged friends in one place. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Chewy, its products and services, and how it stacks up against its competitors.

Chewy’s Background and Product Offerings

Chewy was founded in 2011 by Ryan Cohen and Michael Day. The company began as an online retailer of pet food and has since expanded its offerings to include everything from treats to toys and accessories.

Today, Chewy is one of the largest online pet retailers in the US, with millions of active customers. Chewy’s virtual vet service is one of its standout features.

The service connects pet owners with licensed veterinarians via chat or video call. This allows pet owners to get expert advice without leaving the comfort of their home.

In 2017, Chewy was acquired by PetSmart for $3.35 billion. In June 2019, Chewy filed for an initial public offering (IPO), and its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Competitor 1: Petco

Petco is a well-known pet retailer that operates over 1,500 stores in the US, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. In addition to its retail locations, Petco also offers veterinary hospitals, pet insurance, grooming, training, and a wellness plan for pets.

Petco has a loyal customer base, with millions of active customers. In 2019, its revenue exceeded $4 billion, and the company has plans to continue to expand.

In 2015, Petco was acquired by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm. In 2021, Petco went public, with an initial public offering that raised $864 million.

How Chewy Stacks Up Against Petco

While Chewy and Petco both specialize in pet products, Chewy’s focus is on online retail, compared to Petco’s extensive network of retail locations. Chewy also has a wider selection of products, including its virtual vet service which sets it apart from Petco.

Chewy’s virtual vet service is not something that Petco currently offers, although it does have its own veterinary hospitals. Both Chewy and Petco have active customer bases, but Chewy’s online presence gives it an advantage.

The convenience of having pet supplies delivered directly to your door makes Chewy an attractive option, especially for busy pet owners. Despite Petco’s larger revenue, Chewy’s IPO performance was strong, with its shares jumping significantly on its first day of trading.

This indicates that investors believe in Chewy’s growth potential.


In conclusion, Chewy’s online presence and virtual vet service make it a leading competitor in the online pet retail industry. While Petco has a larger network of retail locations and additional services, Chewy’s focus on convenience and a wider selection of products sets it apart.

Chewy’s acquisition by PetSmart and subsequent IPO suggest that there is potential for strong growth in the future. Choosing between Chewy and Petco ultimately comes down to individual preferences and needs.

However, Chewy’s presence as a top player in the industry will continue to grow and provide pet owners with convenient and high-quality products and services. Competitor 2: PetSmart

PetSmart is a leading brick-and-mortar pet retailer with over 1,500 stores across North America.

Similar to Petco, PetSmart offers services such as training, grooming, and adoption, as well as unique features like pet hotels. The company has a strong reputation for high-quality products and services, making it a top choice for pet owners.

Retail Offerings and Additional Services

PetSmart’s retail offerings include food, toys, treats, and accessories for pets of all types and sizes. The company also offers a range of services, including grooming, training, and boarding.

PetSmart’s pet hotels, known as “PetSmart Hotels,” provide overnight accommodations for dogs and cats, and some locations even offer daycare services. In addition to standard pet products and services, PetSmart also offers specialized services.

For example, “Banfield Pet Hospitals,” which are located inside many PetSmart stores, offer veterinary care services such as check-ups, vaccinations, and surgeries.

Product Brands

PetSmart carries a wide range of top-quality pet food brands, including popular options like Royal Canin, Blue Buffalo, and Hill’s Science Diet. However, PetSmart also has its own product brands like Ol’ Roy and Special Kitty.

While these brands are more affordable than some of the premium options, they have come under fire in the past for containing low-quality ingredients.

Ownership and Controversy

PetSmart was acquired by private equity firm BC Partners in 2015 for $8.7 billion. However, the company has been the subject of controversy in recent years due to allegations of animal cruelty and poor working conditions.

In 2018, PETA released an undercover video that documented animal mistreatment at a PetSmart supplier facility. The video went viral and sparked widespread outrage.

PetSmart responded by releasing a statement condemning the abuse and announcing that it would conduct investigations to ensure that its suppliers are meeting its standards for animal welfare. However, the controversy has caused some pet owners to question PetSmart’s commitment to animal welfare and consider alternative retailers.

Competitor 3: Amazon

Amazon is known for being a massive online marketplace that carries virtually everything, including pet products. In recent years, Amazon has increasingly made moves to dominate the pet category by offering a vast selection of pet items, including its own private label brands like Wag.

Vast Pet Product Offerings and Private Label Brands

Amazon carries a vast array of pet products that are sold at competitive prices. From food to toys to grooming supplies, Amazon offers a range of items that cater to the needs of different pets.

Additionally, Amazon has created its own private label brands, such as Wag, which includes dog food, treats, and accessories. These private label brands provide a more affordable option for pet owners who are looking to save money.

Prime Benefits for Pet Products

Amazon Prime members enjoy a number of perks when it comes to pet products. For example, members receive free shipping on eligible items, same-day delivery in certain areas, and automatic refills for common pet products like food and litter.

These benefits have made Amazon a popular choice for pet owners who are looking for convenience, savings, and fast delivery.

Potential Future Advances in the Pet Category

Amazon has been making moves to increase its presence in the pet category even further. In 2019, it launched its Vet program, which provides access to veterinary professionals for online consultations.

Additionally, Amazon has been launching additional services aimed at pet owners, like its “Happy Paws” program, which offers professional dog walking and pet grooming services in select cities. There has also been speculation that Amazon may begin offering its own pet insurance policies, which would further establish Amazon as a key player in the pet industry.


PetSmart and Amazon are both reputable pet retailers that offer a range of products and services for pet owners. While PetSmart is known for its brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has established itself as a dominant force in online retail.

Both companies have their own strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately, pet owners have more options than ever when it comes to finding high-quality products and services for their furry friends. Competitor 4: Walmart

Walmart is a global retail giant that operates more than 11,000 stores worldwide.

While Walmart is mostly known for selling groceries and general merchandise, the company has made significant investments in e-commerce and digital technology in recent years. Walmart offers a range of pet products and services and has been making moves to expand its presence in the pet industry.

Extensive Retail Network and Investment in Digital

Walmart’s extensive retail network is one of its biggest advantages. With a store located within 10 miles of 90% of the US population, Walmart has unparalleled reach.

The company has also made significant investments in digital technology, including its Walmart+ program, which offers free delivery and other perks to subscribers.

Pet Care Services and Private Label Brand

Walmart has been expanding its pet care services, which include grooming, training, and veterinary clinics. The company’s private label brand, Pure Balance Pro+, offers a range of dog and cat food options made with high-quality ingredients.

Walmart also offers Pet RX, a pharmacy service that includes pet medication and related products.

Customer Reach and Revenue

With more than 265 million weekly customers worldwide, Walmart has a customer reach that few retailers can match. The company’s revenue was $559 billion in 2020, making it one of the largest companies in the world.

Walmart’s vast customer base and revenue provide the company with the resources to invest in new products and services, including those focused on the pet industry. Competitor 5: PetMeds

PetMeds is an online pet pharmacy that specializes in selling medication and other pet-related health products.

The company has a veterinary pharmacy verification process that ensures that all medications are high-quality and safe for pets. PetMeds has established a loyal following of pet owners who trust the company for their pets’ medication needs.

Focus on Pet Medication and Verification

PetMeds’ core focus is on pet medication, including prescription medication and over-the-counter products. The company’s veterinary pharmacy verification process ensures that all medications are safe and effective for pets.

Pet owners can have their pets’ prescriptions automatically filled and delivered to their door, making the process convenient and hassle-free.

Customer Base and Revenue

PetMeds has a loyal following of pet owners who rely on the company for their pets’ medication needs. In 2020, the company reported nearly $300 million in revenue.

PetMeds’ established customer base and revenue provide the company with the resources to expand its offerings and invest in new technology to improve the customer experience.

Content and Prescription Delivery Options

PetMeds provides a wealth of health content to pet owners through its website, including articles on a variety of topics related to pet health and wellness. The company also offers automatic refill options for pet medications, which allows pet owners to ensure that their pets never run out of the medication they need.

Additionally, PetMeds provides delivery options that allow pet owners to receive their pets’ medication quickly and reliably.


Walmart and PetMeds are both significant players in the pet industry, offering a range of products and services to pet owners. Walmart’s extensive retail network and investment in digital technology have given it an edge in the market.

PetMeds’ focus on pet medication and verification has established it as a trusted name in the industry. Ultimately, the choice between Walmart and PetMeds will depend on individual preferences and needs.

However, both companies provide pet owners with high-quality options for their pets’ needs. Competitor 6: Target

Target, a popular retail chain, is known for its wide range of products, including pet supplies.

With over 1,900 stores across the United States, Target offers pet owners convenient access to a variety of pet products. The company has its own private label pet brand, Boots & Barkley, known for its affordable and high-quality products.

Additionally, Target recently launched a new premium pet brand called Kindfull, which offers natural and sustainable pet products.

Extensive Retail Network and Product Offerings

Target’s extensive retail network makes it easy for pet owners to find the products they need for their furry friends. From food to toys to bedding and more, Target carries a diverse selection of pet supplies.

The company also offers products from other popular pet brands, providing customers with ample choices.

Benefits for Pet Product Customers

Target offers several benefits for pet product customers. One of the key advantages is its same-day delivery service, which allows customers to receive their pet supplies quickly and conveniently.

Target also offers in-store pickup, giving customers the option to order online and collect their items at their nearest Target store. Additionally, Target’s loyalty program, Target Circle, allows members to earn points on their pet product purchases, which can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases.

Revenue and Customer Reach

Target’s revenue reached $93 billion in 2020, making it one of the largest retailers in the world. The company’s strong customer reach is a result of its vast network of stores and its online presence.

Target’s commitment to providing a wide range of products, including pet supplies, has contributed to its success and popularity among pet owners. Competitor 7: Pet Supplies Plus

Pet Supplies Plus is a specialty pet supply retailer that operates over 560 stores across the United States.

While the company has a significant physical retail presence, it also offers an online platform for customers to conveniently shop for pet products. Pet Supplies Plus aims to provide pet owners with a one-stop-shop experience by offering a range of products, services, and personalized assistance.

Physical Retail Locations and Online Offerings

Pet Supplies Plus’ physical retail locations provide pet owners with a convenient shopping experience. The stores offer a wide variety of products, including food, treats, toys, and accessories for pets of all sizes and types.

Customers can also take advantage of additional services provided by Pet Supplies Plus, such as grooming and medical procedures. Pet Supplies Plus has also recognized the importance of online shopping and has developed an online platform.

Through the website, customers can browse and purchase products, as well as take advantage of convenient options like curbside pickup and home delivery.

Premium Subscription Service

Pet Supplies Plus offers a premium subscription service called Autoship. Subscribers to this service can set up automatic deliveries of their pet supplies, ensuring that they never run out of essential items.

In addition to the convenience of scheduled deliveries, Autoship subscribers also enjoy discounts and exclusive deals on select products.

Services and Ownership History

Pet Supplies Plus goes beyond simply providing pet products by offering a range of services. Many of their stores have grooming facilities where pets can receive professional grooming services.

Some stores may also offer medical procedures such as spaying or neutering for pets. This emphasis on comprehensive services sets Pet Supplies Plus apart from other pet retailers.

Pet Supplies Plus is owned by Franchise Group, a retail company that specializes in franchising businesses. Franchise Group acquired Pet Supplies Plus in 2018.

This ownership history demonstrates Pet Supplies Plus’ connection to a larger retail organization, providing the company with additional resources and support for growth and development.


Both Target and Pet Supplies Plus offer unique advantages and appeal to pet owners in different ways. Target’s extensive retail presence and wide range of products make it a convenient option for pet owners who prefer to shop in-store or online.

Pet Supplies Plus, on the other hand, focuses on providing a specialized pet shopping experience, with a range of services and a commitment to personalized assistance. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on individual preferences and needs.

Regardless of which retailer pet owners choose, they can find the products and services necessary to meet the needs of their beloved pets. In conclusion, the pet retail market is competitive, with several major players vying for the attention of pet owners.

Chewy, Petco, Amazon, Walmart, PetMeds, Target, and Pet Supplies Plus each offer unique features, product offerings, and services to cater to the diverse needs of pet owners. From the convenience of online shopping to the availability of veterinary services and specialized pet care, these retailers have revolutionized the way pet owners shop for and care for their furry companions.

Whether it’s the wide selection and virtual vet service offered by Chewy, the vast network of retail locations and additional services provided by Petco and Walmart, or the online convenience and personalized assistance offered by Amazon, PetMeds, Target, and Pet Supplies Plus, pet owners now have more options than ever before. As the industry continues to evolve, pet owners can expect to see ongoing advancements and enhancements in products and services to help them provide the best care for their beloved pets.

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