Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

storewanderer
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Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by storewanderer » January 17th, 2020, 7:08 pm

It looks like BBB is dying. Their stores became progressively emptier of merchandise in the past year. I have especially noticed this with their World Market format, though those stores feel healthier overall due to how they scatter/present their merchandise.

I was in the Reno location last night which is a high volume BBB Store. The high (ceiling height) shelves are largely empty and in part of the kitchen area they have actually removed some product aisles. They also removed half of the fixtures in the pet area and what was left of it was pretty poorly stocked. Many of the aisles that were there in kitchen were also stocked about 25% with product. The bed/bath areas were stocked better, but still had a lot of empty spaces or small facings. This location also has a large drugstore/HBA department which historically has been very well stocked. It is not so well stocked last night, probably about 20% of SKUs out of stock. Also all cosmetics were on clearance 75% off; maybe they are exiting that category entirely. Previously the drug/HBA department had some sale items (monthly price cut or similar type thing), last night nothing was on sale (other than clearance items).

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by rwsandiego » January 17th, 2020, 11:01 pm

The Paradise Valley Gateway store is quite large and had a World Market department and still has an HBA section. I say "had a World Market" because the department has diminished by half with the other half stocking cookware. Like the store you visited, PV has removed several shelves. While it does make navigating the store easier, it looks and feels weird.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by Alpha8472 » January 18th, 2020, 12:45 am

Online shopping has taken its toll on Bed Bath & Beyond as well as Cost Plus World Market. Many of these items can be bought online for cheaper prices. Years ago Bed Bath & Beyond was very successful and outlived Linens N Things. However, now that people are so good at online price comparisons, the retail stores are failing.

You used to be able to get emails with very good coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond. It really made people flock to the stores. I do not know if they still do that or if the coupons have gotten worse. In October 2019, the company announced 60 store closures in 2020. Forty are Bed Bath & Beyond and 20 are World Market locations.
Last edited by Alpha8472 on January 18th, 2020, 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by storewanderer » January 18th, 2020, 11:20 am

The e-mail coupons and text message coupons still come about once a month. Also the BBB Store will price match Amazon and last year I picked up a number of items there with the price match. At this point the store is stocked so poorly there is not much I would even be interested in. It looks sort of like Linens N Things did halfway through their liquidation sale.

I guess BBB has a Target executive running the company now and there are high expectations to turn things around based on how he came from Target. Sort of like how there were high expectations on that Apple guy to turn JCP around and we see how that went...

Maybe they are in some sort of transition to straighten out the stores, declutter them, and bring in some new products. These BBB Stores have over the years always seemed overstocked, with a lot of inaccessible merchandise on high high shelves, dust, dated packaging, etc. I think I'd consider "opening up" the stores.

They used to have another competitor who went under in the 90's called Home Place (similar format again) and Home Place was a nicer store, as in, it looked nicer inside and had some more expensive items. BBB comes off kind of cheap and downscale. In my area BBB and Home Place opened around the same time and Home Place was always far busier than BBB, though the chain went under pretty quick at which point BBB got all of the business. I think Home Place also handled more furniture but I could be wrong.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by arizonaguy » January 18th, 2020, 4:32 pm

storewanderer wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:20 am
Maybe they are in some sort of transition to straighten out the stores, declutter them, and bring in some new products. These BBB Stores have over the years always seemed overstocked, with a lot of inaccessible merchandise on high high shelves, dust, dated packaging, etc. I think I'd consider "opening up" the stores.
I believe that this is exactly what is going on.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/03/bed-bat ... -pace.html

They key quote there is:

“Most notably, clearing aged inventory and inventory not consistent with the company’s curated merchandise assortment strategy will declutter stores and leave room to add traffic-driving treasure hunt merchandise,” he wrote.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been trying to prevent excess inventory and discounting from deterring customers from shopping at its stores. To declutter stores, the company said that more than $350 million in inventory will be removed before the holiday season, through markdowns, clearance events and hiring an independent liquidator.

Basham said using liquidation firms will help to avoid cannibalization of Bed Bath & Beyond sales.

He also said the company’s plan to refresh 160 of its best-performing stores before the holiday season and the addition of promotions and advertising will drive traffic and sales.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by storewanderer » January 18th, 2020, 7:40 pm

arizonaguy wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 4:32 pm
storewanderer wrote:
January 18th, 2020, 11:20 am
Maybe they are in some sort of transition to straighten out the stores, declutter them, and bring in some new products. These BBB Stores have over the years always seemed overstocked, with a lot of inaccessible merchandise on high high shelves, dust, dated packaging, etc. I think I'd consider "opening up" the stores.
I believe that this is exactly what is going on.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/03/bed-bat ... -pace.html

They key quote there is:

“Most notably, clearing aged inventory and inventory not consistent with the company’s curated merchandise assortment strategy will declutter stores and leave room to add traffic-driving treasure hunt merchandise,” he wrote.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been trying to prevent excess inventory and discounting from deterring customers from shopping at its stores. To declutter stores, the company said that more than $350 million in inventory will be removed before the holiday season, through markdowns, clearance events and hiring an independent liquidator.

Basham said using liquidation firms will help to avoid cannibalization of Bed Bath & Beyond sales.

He also said the company’s plan to refresh 160 of its best-performing stores before the holiday season and the addition of promotions and advertising will drive traffic and sales.
What is weird is the past two years in January, BBB did a major clearance event as well. I got a lot of stuff 75-90% off (pet, sheets/bedding and drug/HBA items) the past two years in January-February. The infamous 20% off coupons or $10 off $30 coupons further stacked with those transactions to provide for additional savings. This year it seems they just removed all that stuff before the holiday season and had stores that looked like they were so empty, they appeared to be in the middle of a liquidation sale during the holidays.

Maybe this was to purposely run bad numbers this year to have easy comparables next year or something for the holidays.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by cjd » January 18th, 2020, 7:59 pm

I go in BBB occasionally to look at things, but I have never actually bought anything in store. I have however, bought a few things from them online. The last time I had something come from them was actually unexpected. I bought the item on eBay because the price was really good compared to others, and it came from BBB warehouse and packaging. There were some pretty good coupons packed with the item.

My biggest issue I see with the store here is their selection is not nearly as great as others I see. They just don't have the higher end items in stock for some reason.

I think they could probably do with a bit less inventory. When the store opened in 2007 we were almost overwhelmed with how high everything was stacked. Never seen anything like it before other than at home centers.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by buckguy » January 20th, 2020, 7:17 am

Not sure where you got the idea that the stores looked "empty". Not true in the DC area or in other places like Cleveland and NYC where I've been in their stores. They had plenty of stock before and during the holidays.

The Gallery Place store in DC's old retail downtown (a holdover from Linens & Things) is one of the closures, but they will be selling liquidation merchandise through June, so this process of disposing of inventory either from the warehouse or other closed stores will extend over a fairly long period of time. This location had a sizable World Market but it was always the deadest part of the store.

The couponing, if anything, was more intense around the holidays which made me wonder about the viability of the chain. A lot of what they sell really benefits from in-store inspection--colors, pillow density, etc. and impulse shopping--getting more kitchen gadgets than needed, so they do have some niches that online retail doesn't do as well. The real probalems are not so much online, but too much retail generally (the US has way more per person than anywhere else and differences in disposable income doesn't even touch the gap) and too much vulture capital sucking cash out of retail businesses. BBB pretty directly competes with Target in many DC area locations and probably Walmart elsewhere, as well as general merchandise stores and department stores, so there is a lot of retail chasing the same dollar and they really have to distinguish themselves.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by MSSportsGuy » January 21st, 2020, 4:13 am

I haven't been inside a BBB in years, I have purchased a few items online off a wedding registry. BBB is struggling but it's easy to see why and it's not just online shopping that is the culprit.

Homegoods, TJM, Marshalls, Ross, have all exploded the last several years and those stores at times have very good selections of linens, small appliances and home decor, even some brand names at very low prices. People are still making purchases quite often in retail stores but they tend to search out for the lowest prices. It's the same with the clothing selection at those stores. Personally I am a single man who doesn't like to go on treasure hunts when I need to purchase a new shirt or pants and would rather pay a little more for a quality product rather than fight crowds of families rummaging through unorganized racks of merchandise all looking for an elusive deal.

BBB probably does need to reduce it's inventory and likely close a number of their stores. Rather than join in the list of retailers in a race to the bottom with never ending sales/reductions/coupons they can focus on turning their stores into a place to experience new products rather than offer 25 types of spatulas or coffee makers.

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Re: Bed Bath & Beyond: Dying?

Post by veteran+ » January 21st, 2020, 5:27 am

IMO...........

BBB has lost its purpose or lacks a modern and viable mission statement that provides the stimulation for shoppers to visit and buy.

There is too much of "Beyond" in the BBB and most of it is junk that you can buy online or at the other disheveled, no service chaos stores like Walmart, Ross, TJMax, et al. And, the junk is not cheap enough to compete with the aforementioned type of stores.

The BB part of the store is banal and milquetoast. Styles, fashion, colors, modern, etc? Even Target with it's limited selection is better. And then there is the service or lack there of. Quality?............not impressed!

Then there is the totally unrelated merchandise like food and stuff, all over the place. I mean beyond impulse junk!

I don't know how many times I have followed that ridiculous circular path in the store unable to find ONE employee.

The store doesn't give enough REASON to shoppers to visit and buy.

Low prices? (without having to "work" for it)
Great customer service?
Easy to shop?
Modern styles and colors?
Consistent quality?
Variety that makes sense?

I'm not seeing or experiencing any of it.

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