While the Nashville BarkPark is initially only a pop-up venture for now, BarkBox has ambitions to open more locations nationwide in the future. BarkPark also serves as an experimental retail channel for Bark. It follows the brand’s launch in more than 1,800 Target stores nationwide last August, followed up by Urban Outfitters earlier this month. Bark plans to announce more retail partners soon.
But as much as this is a place for dogs, it is clearly also meant to be a space for their human companions to enjoy well, tapping into the documented trend among consumers looking to spend more on experiences—especially those that photograph for Instagram well—these days. The park will be putting on a number of events, at least twice weekly, including “Downward Dog Yoga” and “Okto-Bark-Fest.” The park will also host some of Bark’s existing programming already held routinely in other cities, such as the Open Bark Night comedy show.
The study suggests that the craziest dog people might go into withdrawal when they are away from their dog and lean on technology for quick fixes. Many dog people admit they have watched their dog on a webcam (17%) or Skyped or FaceTimed with them while they were away (14%). “This is especially true of Millennials, who are more likely than non-Millennials (24% vs. 13%) to watch their dog on a webcam. In fact, Millennials are nearly three times as likely as their older counterparts (23% vs. 8%) to Skype or FaceTime their dog.”