Bed Bath & Beyond has seen better days and if they don’t turn things around soon, there may not be anything beyond the next year. The company is planning to close 150 locations, lay off 20% of corporate employees, and discontinue three private label brands. These changes come after the company forced out its CEO in June. This is a last gasp for a struggling retail chain that has been outpaced by competitors. Although the company has received over $500 million to settle their debts, will this flurry of moves be enough?

Bed Bath & Beyond peaked in 2013. Their wide selection of novelty items and oversized coupons earned them multiple celebrity endorsements and even features in popular films. Whatever edge the company once had has long since been dulled by outdated design and sluggish digital advancement. It took the company too long to realize this and they did not try to revitalize their brand until 2019; initially calling to replace all twelve board members and the CEO, yet only three ended up leaving. They even poached Mark Tritton, an executive from rival Target, to lead this new endeavor. Tritton’s strategy of developing internal brands had been a success for Target, though it did not play out the same way for Bed Bath & Beyond and he has been ousted from the company.

Tritton’s strategy was to update the brand for the modern age with a better online retail component, a stronger supply chain, and more exclusive in-house brands. The ideas were sound, yet the execution was flawed, and the company was torn between two identities. The pandemic hit a year after Tritton took over and the strategies of a strong supply chain and online ordering went from good ideas to necessities.

With Tritton gone, the company is attempting a “back-to-basics” strategy with their products. Three of their in-house brands will be discontinued and replaced with more well-known national brands. These will become the centerpiece of their stores with the belief that shoppers preferred household names over the company’s own products. They will also be adding some lesser known brands to their product mix to feel more unique.

There is no doubt that Bed Bath & Beyond is trying to adapt, yet all of these changes may just be lateral movements. The company is still searching for a permanent CEO, and they have not yet attracted the national brands that they are centering their strategy on. Recapturing past magic is difficult, even more so when competitors are innovating and iterating on successful ideas. We will need to wait and see if their strategies pay off; however, there are many red flags they will need to first overcome. For the suppliers that may need to find new retailers, Chain Store Guide offers connections to thousands of chains in our Discount, Dollar, & Specialty Retailers Leads Database. While the future may be uncertain for Bed Bath & Beyond, current vendors should explore new opportunities with retailers of a similar size to prevent an unexpected loss of revenue.