Excited about Bed Bath & Beyond’s return? You may feel pretty lonely

Overstock aims for housewares dominance behind its new, well-worn name: Bed Bath & Beyond.

Bed Bath & Beyond search interest over time

Olivia Heller

Playing into people’s sense of nostalgia for something is usually a winning strategy. But it sure helps when people are, y’know, actually nostalgic for that thing.

The retailer formerly known as Overstock is staking its future on the idea that people are clamoring for the once-dead Bed Bath & Beyond. To recap, per Bloomberg:

  • In April, Bed Bath & Beyond went bankrupt, shuttering all stores.
  • In June, Overstock dropped $21.5m for the decrepit husk of the Bed Bath & Beyond brand.
  • This month, Overstock rebranded to Bed Bath & Beyond.

Is this gonna work?

We’ll see, but Overstock — with its business down 20% YoY in Q2 — can’t be blamed for trying.

Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson said he thought his company “had a good operating model but a bad name” while “Bed Bath & Beyond had a great name but a bad operating model,” per The Washington Post.

  • It’ll be, Johnson told Bloomberg, a “match made in retail heaven.”

But this ignores the fact that Bed Bath & Beyond spent years in decline.

In 2021, the brand scored its lone bright spot of the last decade when the home goods chain became a memestock.

That didn’t translate to a sustainable business either — that same year, Bed Bath & Beyond lost ~5m customers from its once-loyal fan base.

What happens next?

It’s early, so the jury remains out. Maybe we’ll be eating crow — served on some 20%-off dinnerware — and the rebranded retailer will bounce back.

But for now, we can assign one loser in all of this: original Bed Bath & Beyond stockholders.

  • Last month, it was confirmed they’ll be “left empty-handed,” per The Street.

Some solace: Being empty-handed is bad, but nothing could feel worse than spending ~$29 to cover your hand in a “Life is better with cats” oven mitt.

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