Bed Bath & Beyond looks to right inventories

With weddings expected to hit a 38-year high, BBB is looking to its registry business.

Union, NJ – Bed Bath & Beyond plans to make significant changes to its marketing and loyalty strategies this year – but inventory availability remains a sticking point.

The company’s fourth quarter results were thwacked by supply chain challenges, and the impact of product either not available for sale or held at ports amounted to roughly $175 million.

The lack of available inventory has proved to be “a continuing impediment,” company president and CEO Mark Tritton said in Bed Bath’s quarterly review last week.

Bed Bath & Beyond has responded by aligning its marketing with in-stock availability, creating postcards and doorbuster events around merchandise on hand. While those efforts have achieved “relative success,” he said, they remain less impactful at driving traffic than the chain’s traditional circular.

Related: Bed Bath & Beyond comps tumble in key product categories

The company plans to launch a new loyalty program this year that will span all of its retail banners, which would include buybuy Baby, Harmon and Decorist as well as Bed Bath & Beyond. Williams-Sonoma Inc. launched a similar program in 2016 that offered reward dollars no matter which company nameplate customers shopped, a program that generated a significant boost in spending.

Bed Bath is also looking to leverage its wedding and baby registries to cement relationships with younger consumers. The brand has been seeing an uptick in new registry creation, Tritton said, and wants to capitalize on this year’s expected wedding boom. According to a forecast from The Knot, 2022 should see roughly 2.5 million weddings – the most since 1984.

“We just need to get our inventory into stock to be able to facilitate that,” he said.

In another new initiative, the company last week soft-launched the Moment ad network, a retail media platform focused on the home and baby markets.

“Customers and suppliers will be able to connect in a new way across our digital properties as they engage with our business for each important life moment,” he said.

Tritton added, “Inventory, pricing, and traffic will continue to be the key areas of focus in the near-term as we navigate the volatility of the current operating environment.”

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