Target announced that it will start carrying products from Bark, the company behind the pet supply service BarkBox, starting August 13. “Almost 70 [percent] of our guests have pets at home,” said Christina Hennington, senior vice president of essentials and beauty, Target, in a company press release. “We saw an opportunity to become their ultimate pet destination by offering new and exclusive pet brands they can only find at Target, alongside everyday must-haves, saving guests time and money with every Target run.” Business Insider reports the Bark deal follows similar partnerships for Target with other e-commerce-first brands such as Harry's and Casper, helping traditional online brands expand their in-store footprint, while driving foot traffic for the big-box retailer.
Total Retail's Take: Not only is this a smart move for Bark to expand its distribution capabilities, it's a step in the right direction for Target in its fight to combat Amazon.com. While Bark can expand beyond its subscription commerce roots and have a brick-and-mortar presence, Target gains access to the startup's growing audience. The move is part of Target's ongoing attempt to partner with e-commerce brands as they fight to keep pace with Amazon and other big-box retailers. This is becoming a trend with traditional big-box retailers: Wal-Mart has been busy acquiring online-centric brands, most recently scooping up ModCloth.