Bark hoping for a bite at Urban Outfitters
- Pet supplies retailer Bark and apparel retailer Urban Outfitters have launched a partnership that features three toy collections, along with seasonal pet items, with exclusive BARKxUrban Outfitters items coming soon.
- The line is selling on Urban Outfitters' website as of Wednesday, Bark told Retail Dive in an email.
- The news comes a year after Bark tied up with Target in stores and online, and otherwise expanded its pet supplies assortment — its first tie-up with a major national retailer.
E-commerce continues to disrupt retail and subscription sales are still all the rage, but traditional retail is nevertheless proving to be a necessary component of pure-players' growth.
Still, startups like Bark are choosing carefully. There are several good reasons for Bark to work with Target, where 70% of customers have pets at home, according to Target senior vice president of essentials and beauty Christina Hennington. Plus, Target's core customers, who like Amazon's are wealthier and younger than retailers like Walmart, are the same ones that Bark hopes will bite. With Urban Outfitters, the pet supplies retailer approaches an even younger, hipper demographic.
According to a Bark spokesperson, the company was drawn to Urban Outfitters' strong brick-and-mortar and e-commerce presence, as well as an overlap in demographics, which should allow the company to appeal more to millennials.
Bark is operating in a fiercely competitive market in which longstanding players and rival startups alike are making assertive moves, increasingly together. Earlier this week Petco announced its expansion into Canada through a partnership with Canadian Tire which will carry the pet retailer's private label pet food, treats, supplies and accessories online and in stores. Additionally, Petco last year acquired PupBox, a puppy- and "life stage-focused" subscription service aimed at new puppy or dog owners, for an undisclosed amount, as well as pet wellness startup PetCoach last year that it has recently expanded offline.
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated where the items will be sold. They will be sold on urbanoutfitters.com.
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