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.

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.

Bed Bath & Beyond search interest over time

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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