Barney Bed owner slams $50 Aldi ‘dupe’ of her luxury $700 Australian product

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An Australian business owner who created a luxury pet bed loved by celebrities has hit back after shoppers spotted a “dupe” of her cult product being sold at Aldi.

Julia Sakr launched Barney Bed in 2019 after struggling to find a cushion for her pooch Barney to rest on during his senior years that looked beautiful while supporting his ageing frame.

The “luxury” product was an instant success, earning the Sydney-based entrepreneur $1m in the first week of business, and amassing high-profile customers including Reese Witherspoon, Ariel Winter and Khloe Kardashian.

But Barney Bed’s cult-like status has recently seen the high-end product, which retails between $255 to $696 dependent on the size, become a “duped” homewares item – with some claiming Aldi was selling a cheaper version of the beloved dog bed.

Aussie slams $50 Aldi version of her luxury product

After shoppers spotted a pet bed in the German supermarket that looks strikingly similar to the Barney Bed, Ms Sakr headed into the budget retailer to compare the “copy” to her original design – and her video quickly went viral.

“I was sent so many links to a video titled ‘Barney Bed dupe’ so I decided to go check it out and film a video about it,” she told news.com.au.

“I addressed it publicly because I wanted to highlight how big multinational chains often ‘copy’ designs of small businesses for mass production.

“My intention was to initiate a conversation about the broader implications of design copying and encourage consumers to consider the impact of their purchasing decisions on small businesses and the creative industry as a whole.”

News.com.au has contacted Aldi.

In the clip, which has been viewed almost 300,000 times, Ms Sakr went into detail about how the two designs vary, claiming the memory foam pet bed sold at Aldi for $49.99 was lighter in weight, contained no protective covering and was finished in a much “thinner” fabric.

“The first ting you notice is it’s super light, it’s probably about 600 grams, so really easy for your dog to latch on and rip it up,” she said.

“There’s no protective covering on the foam, so saliva and pee, any kind of dirt is going to seep right through.

“It’s not memory foam, it’s just normal regular foam, and the fabric is so thin, like a plush material, the stuff cheap toys are made from.”

In comparison, Ms Sakr’s design – which she points out was “motivated by a personal need and a passion for improving the lives of dogs and their owners” – is an orthopaedic bed that “will last years and not lose its shape”.

“While it’s disheartening to see copies of the Barney Bed being made with inferior materials, there’s reassurance in knowing that consumers will recognise the difference in quality and value,” she explained to news.com.au.

“The Barney Bed stands apart not only for its thoughtful design and craftsmanship, but also for the premium materials that ensure longevity and superior support for pets.

“Ultimately, while the presence of copies may pose challenges, it’s also a testament to the impact and appeal of the Barney Bed. It reinforces our position as a leader in the industry and underscores the value that our loyal customers place on the superior quality and craftsmanship of our products.”

Ms Sakr – a former flight attendant with Emirates – said Barney Bed has proved so popular, she recently extended her range to include a kitty-friendly version called Cat St.

“Cats are notoriously selective, which makes their approval of the Cat St bed particularly gratifying,” she shared.

“Designing it was a little harder as cats are trickier to cater for. It took many prototypes to get the fit and feel just right so that every cat is obsessed with it, meaning it is guaranteed to be a bed your cat will actually sleep in.

“Customers can also choose different stylish covers to dress the bed like you would with your own bed sheets.”

Reviews online have been overwhelmingly positive, with many dog and cat owners writing on Instagram they are “obsessed” with their purchase.

“My doggo loves her Barney bed, it is amazing,” one shared.

“Could never get my cat to sleep in a bed until we got him one of these,” another wrote.

As one mused: “These beds are expensive, but it has been such a good investment in our home. Our little Daisy has never slept better.”

“The quality is unmatched. Our Barney bed will literally see out all of my dog for the rest of my life. It was worth the investment,” agreed another.

Ms Sakr has amassed a cult-following herself as the creator of “best dog bed in the world”, even sharing some of the bizarre experiences she’s encountered in her Sydney shop, located in Paddington.

“I did not think dog jizz was going to be something I had to deal with when I came into work today,” she explains in one viral clip that has almost 2 million views.

“I had a lady come in wanting to buy a Barney bed and a cover for her Saint Bernard to hide a little problem her dog had.

“He was getting it all over her couches so she wanted a colour that would camouflage his accidents.”

Read related topics:AldiSydneyTikTok