Bed Bath & Beyond Bankruptcy?

Yikes! Another well known retailer may be going out of business as early as next week.

Bed Bath & Beyond warned yesterday that it may have to file for bankruptcy and has started to prepare for it, at least internally, stating that there is “substantial doubt it can continue its business.

Having already announced that 150 of its stores were closing in August and laying off 20 percent of its work force appears not to have been enough – or soon enough. Third quarter earnings were well under expectations with sales down 28%, and Tuesday’s release of fourth-quarter earnings are likely to show that the Christmas season wasn’t sufficient to help.

How sad, even though the writing has been on the wall for a few months when suppliers started to refuse to ship inventory. Bed Bath & Beyond is a well known and well respected company. It’s easy to write it off to “people just buy online.” However, that’s often an easy excuse, too. Changing to generic brands cost them a lot of business from loyal customers looking for their favourite brands during the pandemic. Three different CEOs didn’t help, along with big staff turnover, turn-around plans that came late, and a decade of experimenting with private-label products was mismanaged, at best.

In an online world, it also doesn’t help that their website is bad – really bad. The joke among staff is that it’s easier to search for their products on google than their own website. I can vouch for that with a purchase last week. But that also applies to Rona, Lowe’s and even various departments for Walmart!

Still, I’m going to go shopping there today or Monday. Here’s to hoping it won’t be the last time.

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