BOSTON – If you still have a pile of Bed Bath & Beyond coupons at home, there are only a few more days to redeem them. The struggling home goods chain that declared bankruptcy last Sunday announced the deadlines for using coupons and gift cards. Store closing sales are now underway.
Bed Bath & Beyond addressed the coupon issue in a list of frequently asked questions posted on its website after the bankruptcy announcement.
The 360 Bed Bath & Beyond and 120 Buy Buy Baby stores, as well as the company’s websites, will continue to be open for customers.
In the first half of this year, we announced closures in North Attleboro and Leominster. Plaistow, Amherst, and Hudson stores in New Hampshire were also added to the list of closings.
The closing of the stores will threaten thousands of jobs. According to the filing in court, the company employed 14,000. This is a drastic drop from the 32,000 workers in February 2022.
Bed Bath & Beyond, founded in 1971, enjoyed its status as a large box retailer, offering a wide selection of towels, sheets, and gadgets that rivaled department stores. Bed Bath & Beyond was one of the first retailers to offer many household products like air fryers and single-serve coffee makers. Its coupons for 15% to 20% were also widely used.
Bed Bath & Beyond has struggled to sell its products for the past decade, mainly because of its messy assortments and lagging internet strategy. This made it difficult to compete with Walmart and Target, who have both spruced up their home departments by adding higher-quality bedding and sheets. Online players such as Wayfair are attracting customers with their affordable furniture and home décor.
Bed Bath & Beyond hired Mark Tritton, a former Target executive, to turn the sales around in late 2019. Tritton reduced coupons quickly and introduced store labels at the expense of national brands, a disastrous strategy for the retailer.
The pandemic that occurred shortly after his arrival forced the retailer temporarily to close their stores. Analysts said that it was never able, as other retailers had done, to leverage the health crisis into a successful online marketing strategy. Bed Bath, which was one of the most vulnerable retailers a year earlier, had supply chain problems. It missed many of its top 200 items, including kitchen appliances and electronic devices, for the holiday season 2021.
The retailer ousted Tritton in June 2022 after two consecutive quarters of poor sales. Under the leadership of newly appointed CEO and President Sue Grove, the company has returned to its original strategy, focusing on national brand names instead of pushing its store labels. The company’s financial problems have made it difficult for suppliers to commit to delivering products.
The retailer lost many customers during the holiday season because of the lack of key items. This problem continued through the winter and the spring.
As speculation about an imminent bankruptcy increased, the shares of the company fell even further. The company’s financial performance also declined. It reported in late March that the preliminary results indicated a decline of 40% to 50% for stores open at least one year for the quarter ending February 25.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, made in late March, the company said it also planned to sell 300 million dollars worth of shares in order to avoid filing for bankruptcy.
Since early in the year, the home goods retailer has issued several warnings regarding a possible bankruptcy filing. It noted in late January that it was defaulting on its loans and did not have the money to pay what it owed. The company said that the default forced it to consider various options, including restructuring its debts in bankruptcy court.
Bed Bath & Beyond has joined a list of retailers who have declared bankruptcy this year, including Party City, a party supply chain, and David’s Bride.
In the depths of the pandemic, several retailers, including Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 2022, retail bankruptcy filings decreased as consumers, flushed with government stimulus funds and a stack of savings, spent recklessly, helping all types of retailers. As credit tightens and inflation continues to be stubborn, shoppers are tightening up their purse strings, making struggling retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond even more vulnerable.
Bed Bath & Beyond was trying to turn its business around and cut costs after new strategies by the previous management worsened a slump in sales. Last August, the company announced that it would be closing 150 of its stores and cutting its staff by 20%. The company also secured more than $500,000,000 in new financing.
Bed Bath & Beyond shares were also on a volatile run. They had been trading at distressed levels. In August, it made a massive run up from $5.77 all the way to $23.08 within a few weeks. This trading resembled the meme-stock craze of last year, when out of favor, companies became favorites of small-pocketed investors.
The stock dropped back down to Earth when Ryan Cohen, the billionaire co-founder of online pet products retailer Chewy, who bought a nearly 10% stake at Bed Bath & Beyond in March last year, sold all his shares.