February 29, 2024

Signage featuring the Chewy logo at the company's Florida headquarters.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Fido’s worm pills are proving a very healthy addition to pet subscription box company Chewy’s bottom line.

On its earnings call Wednesday evening (Dec. 6), the company told investors that its growing pet pharmacy business is on pace to bring in $1 billion a year based on how things have gone the last twelve months.

“At this scale, Chewy is the number one pet pharmacy in America,” CEO Sumit Singh said on the call, reiterating that the top spot it’s been claiming since March is secure.

The company, which is holding its first Investor Day later this month in New York City, entered the pet pharmacy business in 2018. That move positioned it well to take advantage of the growing customer base of people who became pet parents during the pandemic. If it could get those people ordering food and toys, why not get them to order medicine?

“We believe every active Chewy customer should also be a Chewy Pharmacy customer,” Singh told investors last quarter.

Although fans of mom-and-pop pet pharmacies have some of the same critiques of big-box, online competitors as their human counterparts—the face-to-face touch isn’t the same, it can be hard to compete on price—people are still flocking to large retailers in droves. Former Chewy parent company PetSmart launched an online pharmacy in 2021, Petco is also expanding quickly into pharmacy services, and Walmart announced in September that it’s trying to further build up its pet health operations.

Chewy also told investors that its revenue came in slightly lower than analyst expectations at $2.7 billion for the quarter, with profits better than expectations at 15 cents per share. Both figures were improvements from the same time last year. Shares were slightly lower in Thursday trading.

Related stories

How America’s love for its cats and dogs built the pet industrial complex

Pets are our faithful companions, but the costs to care for them can add up

A return to the office is prompting people to get their pets a pet

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