Let me start with a confession: I, Mark Klaiman, have never been in a Walmart store. I’ve driven past them and even once parked in one of their parking lots in Nevada, but I’ve never physically been inside one of their stores. Some of you who know me might be thinking “that’s just Mark on his small business soap box again,” and while that’s partially right, I have been inside (and spent considerable sums of money in) both Costco and Target. However, Walmart might just have added something that gets me in their doors . . . veterinary care. Yes, Walmart will have 20 veterinary clinics in their stores by the end of May with plans expand soon.
“What?!” you say, “How could you even consider getting veterinary care at Walmart?” Veterinary care is not some product to be sold as “Save Money. Live Better.” Veterinary care is a professional and, more importantly, a personal service where relationships with a veterinary clinic and veterinarian matter – not something eligible for the express lane! But why, I ask you, is this any different from me going to my local veterinary hospital that is now owned by Mars, Incorporated? Shouldn’t I be able to get a Snicker’s Bar while my dog gets her vaccines? Is this really what veterinary care has become? If this is happening to veterinary care, can the rest of pet care be far behind? Is it just a matter of time before the quirkiness of family owned businesses is lost to the homogeneity of corporate ownership?
All I have to say is that if Pet Camp is forced to have a candy machine in the lobby to promote our corporate owner, it better be the kind that serves frozen Snicker’s Bars.
Thanks for reading.