Joining Serta-Simmons (the country’s largest mattress manufacture), Bed Bath and Beyond have filed for bankruptcy.
In 2012, Simmons and its sister company, Serta International were acquired by American [private equity] company [Advent International] As of 2022, Simmons is a subsidiary of the American company On January 23, 2023, Serta Simmons Bedding filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
While Serta seems to have followed the typical leveraged buy-out/private equity route, BB&B seems to have missed the point along the retail path and is scheduled for liquidation.
A pending challenge for a 70-year old company:
It’s easy to blame COVID for these, but the problems have been developing for years.
Maybe let’s start with the $1 BILLION management used for stock buybacks the past couple years to enrich shareholders (including, obviously, their own grants) instead of investing in the business.
And yes, a failed business model. Perhaps some investment in a workable internet platform would have been wise. And dumping the name brands in favor of higher margin but unknown Chinese knockoffs for things like Celephalon pans and offering no-name mixers instead of KitchenAid was a mistake?
As was the ubiquitous 20% off coupons. I stopped going when they changed the return policy so you could only get 80% of the purchase price back if something was off unless you kept every receipt (*who does that?)
And that 20% off made the prices on google comparisons during search just look 20% higher than everyone else’s price on the same product . Didn’t we have a thread just recently about no making it hard for the consumer? Who wants to remember that the actual price listed - isn’t the actual price if you buy the thing, so long as you carry around some special coupon you may or may not have gotten in the mail?
This was a category killer which outlasted worthy competitors (Linens & Things, notably) brought low by astonishingly myopic management. It wasn’t Covid, though that didn’t help, it was malinvestment, greed, and a complete lack of understanding of business in a changing environment. (See: JC Penney for another once great business brought low by couponing & missteps, and Sears for, well, capitalistic stripping for parts gone large.)
Why would any store take a return without a receipt??? How could they be sure you purchased it there (and didn’t instead go to the store with the most favorable return policy to return it)? And, yes, of course you keep every receipt of items you may want to return!
One reason why Costco is so good about returns is because they have an exact record of every single purchase.
I’ve done it at Home Depot and Target. Just present the credit card you used for the purchase and they know when you bought that item and how much you paid for it. Computer records are a wonderful thing.
Speaking of the Wendy’s where I admonished the head person about that, I stopped in that store for a salad yesterday. The guy at the terminal in front of me, gave up, partway through his order, and left. I waited for the kiosk to time out and go back to the start screen. I managed to get my salad ordered. Questions remain though. How do I enter my free “senior” soda? Even better, how do I order my free sandwich for the BOGO offer on the back of the receipt for taking their on-line survey? Even the human cashiers in the store don’t know how to ring that up. They have to ring up one, then go tell the burger builder the order is actually for two.
Radio Shack made a go of an all house brand strategy, but they had been around for years, so most people who I talked to in the store were familiar with “Realistic” (“Duophone” for feature phones and answering machines, “Archer” for antennas and cables, “Micronta” for test equipment) As intended, the house brand strategy was a profit margin builder, because there was no major brand company overhead to pay for, and it made comparison shopping for the consumer more difficult. In the late 70s and early 80s, the RS house brand stuff was also decent quality. My 1987 Duophone answering machine lasted until 2010. I am still using a 1992 “Optimus” stereo receiver. When RS wend down the “creating shareholder value” path from the beginning of the 90s on, product quality fell, prices rose, and they cut the pay of everyone working in the stores.
I have commented before that anyone who tried to tell RS top management that the environment had changed, “fair trade” laws had been repealed, and stores with a lower overhead model, like Best Buy, were killing RS, were met by Bernie Appel thundering “I’ve been in this business 40 years, and I know everything” (heard that one with my own ears, in person)
Yup, there are a lot of “JCs” that are guilty of arrogance, greed, and myopia, but they expect to be worshiped anyway.
That’s not true anymore! In many places with new-ish POS equipment, they give you a few choices for “receipt” … just last night I shopped at a local Walmart and there were 3 options for receipt, one, emailed, two, texted, and three, printed. All are considered to be a receipt that you can use to return things at the store.
And just an hour ago, I filled up my wife’s car with gasoline and similarly, there were two options for receipt - printed or emailed. Both are a receipt.
Yes, agree, many stores now have this option. I noticed it first with restaurants (where you hopefully do not need to return your purchase). I do not think BBBY had this implemented, at least not where I live, and this goes to Goofy’s point about not keeping up. I do however still keep all of my paper receipts for a few months. Just old habits I guess, but every once in a while I have returned something weeks after I purchased it.
I have returned stuff to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Ace Hardware and others without “a receipt.” I swipe the card I use for the transaction and the computer knows if I bought it there or not.
Bed & Bath did not offer that (at least when I went, which I stopped doing), you had to have the actual paper receipt, which is ridiculous. I collect a half dozen paper receipts a day and immediately dump them in the trash. (I even ask for no receipt, but they give one anyway.)
Same here. They keep a record of every purchase tied to the card used. It’s part of their “new IT tech” and part of their “loss prevention” program (people would swipe stuff in the store and walk to the front to “return” it).
But BBB used ancient systems and never invested in newer IT tech to store all that stuff. It also made it more difficult for them to target consumers with applicable advertising. Instead they mailed out millions of generic 20% off coupons!
You still have a proof of purchase, whether a printed out e-mail, or a printed receipt from the store. As opposed to the character that comes in a store, takes something off the shelf, walks up to the counter, and demands a cash refund. I amazed one of my salesmen in my RS one day. A guy was trying to refund a burglar alarm keypad ($40 item) without a receipt. Kyle asked me about it. About two minutes earlier, I had been helping a customer, and noticed the space on the shelf in the burglar alarm section where a keypad had been, was empty. I said to Kyle “he just took it off the shelf”. The guy said “oh, I have the receipt in the car”, and was out of the store like a missile, never to return.
I was in Lowe’s one day and saw a guy trying to return a very expensive bathroom faucet. He had no receipt, no box, no instruction sheet, no drain assembly. All he had was the faucet, which is the only thing Lowe’s has on it’s faucet display. I hope the Lowe’s shift manager walked over to see if that model was on the display, or there was an empty space, because my ex-retailer alarms were going off on that guy.
Yes, I keep receipts. Everything, no matter how trivial, that I put on a card, I keep the receipt, and I check off every item on my CC bill every month. I still have all the receipts for even trivial items that I bought at RS, so the DM or loss prevention could never accuse me of taking anything out of the store that was not paid for.