Who’ll Cash in on Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy?
With Bed Bath & Beyond closing stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, competitors could have the opportunity to scoop up choice real estate and expand their empires.
Placer.Ai looked at the kinds of retailers best positioned to take over the doors and customers Bed Bath & Beyond will leave behind.
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The retail analytics firm found that merchants carrying a large selection of home furnishings might pick up foot traffic, including retailers specializing in home furnishings as well as home improvement stores, superstores and discounters. While Bed Bath & Beyond’s footfall per store fell 63.4 percent in the first quarter this year compared to a first-quarter 2018 baseline, this was still higher than the home furnishings segment overall, according to Placer.ai. The retailer operated 360 stores in all 50 states as of November 2022, with locations averaging 32,000 square feet.
Placer.ai pointed to a range of retailers that could be interested in the bankrupt chain’s empty big boxes, from fitness operators and gyms to grocery stores, with some already looking to take over leases. It found considerable customer cross-over between Bed Bath & Beyond and similar businesses selling bedding, furniture and kitchenware. Last year, 83.5 percent of Bed Bath & Beyond’s customers also shopped at Walmart, and about 79 percent visited Target stores. Dollar Tree, Costco, Hobby Lobby, Sams Club and Dollar General also saw significant customer overlap with Bed Bath & Beyond that’s increased over the past three years.
“Some of the rise in cross-shopping may be due to the other retailers’ expansions—for example, more Target stores means more opportunities for Bed Bath & Beyond customers to visit Target, which can drive a rise in cross-shopping,” wrote Placer.ai’s Shira Petrack. Then again, Bed Bath & Beyond pre-bankruptcy store pruning could have spurred people to shop elsewhere for their home goods needs. Recent development indicate that rivals are already moving in on the company’s customer base. Last week, Big Lots and The Container Store said people can use expired Bed Bath & Beyond coupons to shop at their stores.
According to Placer.ai, there’s “no one-size-fits-all tenant well-positioned to take over the brand’s entire real estate portfolio.” Analysis of some of the places where Bed Bath & Beyond has stores showed that area residents have a median age range of 35.3 to 38.1 with median household income around $53,000 to nearly $104,000, according to demographic and psychographic data for eight regions where it operates. As many as 31.6 percent of households had children. This data could be helpful to potential tenants—like off-price retailers with deals on apparel for growing kids, for example, Placer.ai, pointed out.
The analytics firm’s Behavior & Attitudes dataset shows that people living in the areas it look at had varying degrees of interest in exercise, natural products and online shoe shopping—metrics that could help fitness brands, grocery stores and fashion retailers looking to target the right shoppers. Fitness centers, for example, need to be conveniently situated in areas that are easily accessible, while home improvement retailers, which shoppers visit less frequently, could lease property in less densely populated areas.
Though “[s]ome commentators have framed Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy as the latest manifestation of the ongoing retail apocalypse,” according to Petrack, the upheaval could spell opportunity for companies ready to win.