Home improvement store operator Lowe's has teamed up with Petco to sell pet products at some of its outlets nationwide. The company announced that it would be launching a pilot store-in-store program that will let customers buy products such as pet food and toys at select branches.

Lowe's and Petco said the first store concept would be built inside one of its outlets in Alamo Ranch, Texas. In a joint statement released Thursday, the two companies said that they plan to build Lowe's + Petco store-in-store concepts at 14 other Lowe's stores by March.

The companies said the store concepts would be built inside Lowe's stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. A list of the exact stores and their locations was not provided in the statement.

Lowe's and Petco said the partnership arose from the rising pet ownership trend during the epidemic. They added that almost 11 million new pets have been bought and brought into American homes in the last two years.

Nick Konat, Petco's chief marketing officer, said that pets had been a source of joy, comfort, personal, physical, and mental health during most of the epidemic. He added that people are now spending more to both improve their homes and make them better places to live in for their pets.

Lowe's executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer, Marisa Thalberg, said that convenience was also a major consideration in the partnership. Thalberg said that around 60% of respondents in a survey they conducted indicated that they are more willing to shop at its outlets if they could also purchase products for their pets at the same location.

Hundreds of Petco's products will be available to purchase in-store and on Lowes.com, with orders being picked up curbside, in contactless pickup lockers, or at the customer service desks. The companies said they would build Vetco immunization clinics, microchipping, and mobile grooming at certain outlets. They did not elaborate on which locations they would be building the clinics.

Thalberg said the partnership united the best of what both companies offer. She added that customers will appreciate having access to the best of Petco's products and services under Lowe's larger establishments, which Thalberg said have always been known for being pet-friendly places to shop.

The program might extend to more than 15 other locations, according to Petco's Konat and Lowe's Thalberg, who both expressed optimism about future expansion.