The Chicago Journal

Bed Bath & Beyond take another step in bankruptcy: inventory liquidation

Bed Bath & Beyond take another step in bankruptcy: inventory liquidation
Image Commercially Licensed from: Unsplash

Bed Bath & BeyondAlmost every item in a homeowner’s interior space originated from retail behemoth Bed Bath & Beyond during the 1990s and 2000s.

While there is no doubt that the firm flourished over time, it looks that all of the hard work was in vain as the company declared bankruptcy on Sunday.


Customers who visited the company’s website on Sunday morning were made aware of the announcement.

“Thank you to all of our loyal customers,” the blue font said upon opening the page.

“We have made the difficult decision to begin winding down our operations.”

The company’s website, 360 Bed Bath & Beyond locations, and 120 buybuy BABY stores will stay open for the time being.

The company got a $240 million loan to keep its operations running throughout its bankruptcy.

Certain Bed Bath & Beyond locations, on the other hand, will close, with store closing sales starting on Wednesday.

What will happen to the company’s 14,000 workers is unknown.

Uncertainty in the future

Bankruptcy filings may not always imply the death of a corporation.

When other significant US corporations declare bankruptcy, they remove debt and wasteful spending that they can no longer afford.

Even if they avoid bankruptcy, Bed Bath & Beyond’s future is uncertain.

The corporation intends to sell some, if not all, of its assets.

If a buyer is found, the company will cease retail closures.

If no buyer is found, Bed Bath & Beyond will most likely be liquidated completely before closing its doors.

According to GlobalData Retail analyst Neil Saunders, the firm may relaunch as an online-only store.

“Ultimately, if it emerges from bankruptcy at all, Bed Bath & Beyond will be a shadow of its former self,” said Saunders.

The empire

Bed Bath & Beyond heralded the arrival of “category killers,” or retail enterprises that specialize in certain retail categories, such as:

  • Toys “R” Us
  • Circuit City
  • Sports Authority

Customers switched away from local companies and toward online retailers like Amazon, forcing many firms to fail.

Bed Bath & Beyond quickly became well-known for its ubiquitous 20%-off coupons and enormous shops stocked with the following items:

  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Towels
  • Beddings

The blue-and-white coupons issued by the firm became a cultural icon, with millions of Americans stockpiling them in their vehicles, closets, and basements.

Customers have until Tuesday to utilize the remaining 20%-off certificates, according to the firm.

They will no longer accept them by Wednesday.

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Store and sales

Instead, as part of its departure plan, Bed Bath & Beyond aims to provide significant product discounts.

By supplying brand names at reasonable costs, the company attracted a large number of customers.

Several companies battled for a spot on Bed Bath & Beyond’s shelves, which are well-known for their high sales.

Furthermore, the open-store style of the organization was strategic, allowing for unplanned acquisitions.

The firms handled almost every scenario, including:

  • Winter holidays
  • Back-to-school seasons
  • College season
  • Baby registry
  • Wedding registry

The firm, on the other hand, has been slow to adapt to changing customer preferences, with many customers preferring to shop at retailers such as Amazon and Target.

Bed Bath & Beyond alleged in its bankruptcy case that the company owes $5.2 billion and had assets worth $4.4 billion.

On Sunday, the firm said that it had collected $240 million in funding to sustain operations long enough to sell properties and wind down operations.

This week, Bed Bath & Beyond encouraged customers to take advantage of their lower-priced options.

Prior purchases are returnable until May 24, but after that date, all sales are final.

Additionally, as of May 8, the firm will no longer accept gift cards.

Online shopping

Despite the fact that home décor is one of the most popular online categories, Bed Bath & Beyond made a costly error by investing little time in e-commerce.

“We missed the boat on the internet,” said company founder Warren Eisenberg.

Customers used Amazon and other sites to find lower-cost alternatives, lowering the value of Bed Bath & Beyond discounts.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s issues were not just the result of Amazon, since other brands arose during the previous decade, including:

  • Costco
  • Target
  • Walmart

Bed Bath & Beyond customers benefited from cheaper costs and more selections from the three firms.

TJ Maxx and HomeGoods have both lowered their prices.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s sales declined between 2012 and 2019, despite the fact that the lowest pricing and alternatives stayed practically the same.

When the pandemic occurred in 2020, the firm was forced to close its outlets while “essential retailers” such as Walmart remained open.

In 2020, sales fell 17%, and in 2021, they fell 15%.

The corporation has also gone through a number of different leaders in recent years, each with their own strategy.

Former Target CEO Mark Tritton joined the firm in 2019 with a new strategy and financial backing.

Tritton reduced large brand discounts and stocks to emphasize Bed Bath & Beyond’s private-label merchandise.

Customers who had previously remained loyal to huge firms were fearful of the shift.

Later, Bed Bath & Beyond became behind on vendor payments, resulting in store inventory shortages.

Mark Tritton later resigned as CEO in 2022.