Pat Shores, the CMO of pet retailer Bark & Co. says "we bring a dog's eye view to everything we do." That was the thinking behind why the brand decided to open an NYC storefront where pooches do the shopping -- for real.
This week the brand debuted BarkShop Live, where dogs outfitted in special digitally-enabled vests are free to roam around and peruse, even gnaw on various squeaky and stuffed toys like The Dognald, a stuffed toy resembling "one doggedly determined Republican."
Owners buy tickets and schedule appointments for their dogs. The price of the ticket also goes toward a purchase at the store. Dogs then enter and test out the various products, which are embedded with RFID tags that allow the platform to "read" which toys they're most interested in. Owners can then order the goods, which will be delivered directly to their homes "because dogs can't carry shopping bags," the brand statement reads.
According to Ms. Shores, the brand created the experience to showcase BarkShop.com and the company's products and to experiment with potential retail stores or partnerships.
Bark & Co. is home to the dog subscription service BarkBox. The company was also behind BarkFest in Brooklyn, which was dubbed the " "World's Biggest Festival for Dogs and Their Groupies," and drew 8,000 owners and their dogs.
"Bark & Co is creating a brand for a generation of people who see their dogs as children," she said. "Right now you can primarily take your dog home or to the park. We are trying to change that."