Just as the rumor mill swirls with news of a possible Walmart acquisition of Birchbox, another retailer is dipping its toes into the partnership ring.
Target just announced that starting this coming Sunday, Aug. 13, it will start selling pet toys and treats on its website and in its stores. These new pet-friendly offerings will be coming directly from subscription retailer BarkBox’s parent company, Bark. In an effort that is likely meant to convert BarkBox sales, this strategic partnership Target has with Bark may help move that needle. Currently, Bark has more than 50 million products and has already reached profitability this year. It is projected that the company will go over the $150-million revenue mark for the year.
The big box retailer is looking to expand its pet product offerings for both cats and dogs over the fall season through various key partnerships. With this move, Target is effectively making a move to operate on a higher level in the battle for today’s tech-savvy consumer.
Christina Hennington, Target’s senior vice president of essentials and beauty, commented on the retailer’s goals for expanding into the pet arena. “Almost 70% of our guests have pets at home. So we saw an opportunity to become their ultimate pets destination by offering new and exclusive pet brands they can only find at Target, alongside everyday must-haves they need, saving guests time and money with every Target run,” Hennington said.
With retail competition heating up through multiple partnerships, digital integrations and innovations, this move for Target into the pet product space gives it the opportunity to own the space. While this move is not a direct move against its counterparts like Walmart and Amazon, it’s probably a safe move to help expand its presence in the ever-growing eCommerce arena.