Pets at Home is closing all seven of its specialist Barkers high street stores and is offering staff alternative roles at its superstores. All the Barkers shops will be closed by the end of March.
The pet retail chain opened its flagship Barkers' shop in a former Blockbusters store in Wilmslow, Cheshire in March 2014 and had since opened a further six shops across the country – Clifton (Bristol), Farnham (Surrey), Ilkley (West Yorkshire), Marlow (Buckinghamshire), Muswell Hill (London) and Sevenoaks (Kent).
When the Barkers concept was first launched Pets at Home said the objective was “to create the best dog shop in the world.”
But now the company has had a rethink and a spokesperson for Pets at Home told Pet Trade Xtra this week: “Barkers is a trial concept of a premium segment small-store format in seven high street locations around the country.
“There are a number of positive aspects from the trial that we will incorporate into our core Pets at Home stores.
“However, we have concluded that the Barkers concept does not offer the potential to be rolled-out profitably. We have therefore decided to end the trial and close our seven Barkers stores by the end of March.
“All colleagues from our Barkers stores will be offered alternative roles in local Pets at Home stores.”
Each of the seven stores has posted a similar message of Facebook. Here’s the post from the Wilmslow store.
“It with an extremely heavy heart that today we have to announce that Barkers of Wilmslow is closing on Sunday 18th March 2018.
“As many of you know, we were the first of 7 shops and have had an incredible four years here in Wilmslow – meeting and being here for you and your barkers has truly been an honour.
“I would like to reassure you all that this decision was not an easy one and certainly not one we have taken lightly, but due to many factors we have to say farewell.
“We have every intention of going out as we came in, as a shop filled with fun, laughter and general doggy shenanigans! So to each and every Barker who has shopped here, been groomed here, attended a party or even done a sneaky little wee on us – do come back and see us before we shut our doors for the last time!
“For all of our spa customers, our groomers will be getting in contact over the coming weeks to discuss your appointments, but please do give us a call if you are worried before then. We can also help arrange an alternative appointment at our sister dog grooming salon, The Groom Room, located in Pets at Home Stockport or Pets at Home Altrincham.
“Thank you! It’s been a pleasure and we will miss you all terribly."