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Overstock Banking on Bed Bath & Beyond Brand image

Overstock Banking on Bed Bath & Beyond Brand

As Overstock moves to rebrand itself under the newly acquired Bed Bath & Beyond banner, it remains to be seen whether customers and suppliers will migrate to the new owner.

In many cases, suppliers were already doing business with Overstock, which for years has sought to shed its liquidator image and completed a three-year transition to a furniture and home goods retailer in 2022; However, the image has been hard to shake.

“We haven’t been a liquidator for 20 years,” Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson said. “The Overstock name restricted our ability to be top of mind with consumers for quality home products. Some suppliers were reluctant to sell to what they perceived as a liquidation site and in short, our Overstock name created a head wind with customers and suppliers.”

Suppliers for the most part support the strategy and name change, given that the field of home goods retailers is narrowing. Tuesday Morning recently shifted from bankruptcy to liquidation and the category’s sales are softening after a two-year boom. As if to underscore the shifting market, T.J. Maxx, whose nameplates include HomeGoods, Homesense and Marshalls, is “still trying to figure out the home trend nationally,” CEO Ernie Herrman said.

“As the retail landscape continues to get smaller and smaller, our drop ship programs are a stronger focus,” said an executive at licensed bedding supplier. “This [the Bed Bath acquisition] is not as much about a growth opportunity as maintaining business and combining both accounts into one. The endless overstocks and the major slow down at retail are impacting everyone’s bottom line in the home category.”

Not surprisingly Overstock was more optimistic, noting that shortly it acquired the Bed Bath & Beyond IP, the retailer ranked fifth among the Top 25 retailers in the home goods category in terms of brand awareness. Bed Bath’s Welcome Rewards loyalty program had in the “high-single digit” millions of active members, more than Overstock’s entire customer base, Johnson said. Bed Bath had 20 million active customers – both brick and mortar and digital – which was four times Overstock’s reach, he said. The retailer’s digital and omnichannel customer base is double that of Overstock’s and generated $1 billion in revenue in 2022.

“Bed Bath & Beyond is a meaningful name – there’s a lot of equity there and I think rebranding Overstock as is a great idea,” said Judi Alvarez, VP of Licensing and Marketing at home textiles supplier Town & Country, which sells through Overstock and sold the licensed Fiesta, KitchenAid, Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, and other textile brands through Bed Bath.  “The digital assets and customer data will help bring new customers to Overstock and help them pick up some of Bed Bath & Beyond’s market share. The home goods business needs as many strong retail partners as possible.”

Overstock will target deepening its reach in home goods under the Bed Bath name, Johnson said. Overstock is relying on the brand for reaching younger customers, social media marketing and attracting brand ambassadors, he said. It also will continue Bed Bath’s well-known coupon promotions, but with a different twist. The coupons will be limited to a mobile app and email, but dispense with traditional mail, he said. And while the purchase includes Bed Bath’s private label brands, which contributed to its downfall, Overstock will rely on its existing supplier base to develop a “beyond” assortment including furniture, Johnson said. Overstock added 100,000 SKUs across “popular” Bed Bath categories in the week it was named the stalking horse bidder for the retailer’s assets.

“The opportunity for Overstock is real and significant,” Johnson said. “While it will expand our product assortment on our web site, taking on a well-known brand name is helping and will help in attracting additional suppliers.”

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