Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. began as a big-box retailer operating in North America. It was first known as Bed N Bath to reflect the original product lineup but the name was later changed. Bed Bath & Beyond is now an omnichannel retailer that operates a chain of retail stores and an eCommerce platform focused on household products including linens, towels, and kitchen supplies and equipment. Other product lines include home furnishings, juvenile, and consumables. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. was incorporated in 1971 and is headquartered in Union, New Jersey.
Bed Bath & Beyond made a name for itself in the late 80s and early 90’s due to its widespread appeal and aggressive growth strategy. Its answer to the competition was to help define terms like superstore and category killer and alter the face of US retail. Eventually, the company is forced to make acquisitions in order to sustain its growth.
At the end of February 26, 2022, the company had 953 stores including 771 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. The company’s other brands include buybuy Baby, Harmon, and Face Values. The company is operating 130 buybuy BABY stores in 37 states and Canada, and 52 stores in 6 states under the names Harmon, Harmon Face Values or Face Values.
Bed Bath & Beyond has a healthy eCommerce business that includes websites and apps like bedbathandbeyond.com, bedbathandbeyond.ca, harmondiscount.com, facevalues.com, buybuybaby.com, buybuybaby.ca, and decorist.com. The eCommerce platform has been central to the company’s business although it has been struggling to hit sales targets consistently since hitting a peak around 2015. Competition from more-successful superstore category killers cut into the business and are still doing so today.
One of the company’s most recognizable advertising campaigns is the 20% off coupon. The company is known to regularly send out 20% off coupons through the mail in an effort to drive traffic. The growth of the Internet led the company to offer the discount online as well so now consumers can get 20% off their first order when using the online portals.
Bed Bath & Beyond once again entered the spotlight during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the weakening nature of the underlying business. Mounting debt and an uncertain outlook led to a rise in short interest that eventually elevated the stock to Meme Stock status. Short interest in the stock topped 40% at times and helped induce wild swings in the share price.
The company fired its then-CEO Mark Triton in early 2022 because of the failing business and Sue Gove stepped in to take his place on interim status. Ms. Gove is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in various leadership positions. Even so, the company’s future is not assured.