The coronavirus pandemic has forced retailers to make adjustments for employee and customer safety.
With Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. revealing the first 63 namesake stores that will close as part of its “store optimization plan,” you might be wondering about the future of the company’s iconic and uber-popular 20% off coupons.
Yes, you can still use the store coupons you’ve been hoarding for years – for now.
However, at the stores slated to close, coupon usage is expected to be halted once liquidation sales begin, a common practice at going-out-of-business sales. About 200 Bed Bath stores or 21% of namesake locations are expected to shutter over the next two years.
The New Jersey-based home goods retailer also operates buybuy Baby, Harmon Face Values, World Market and other concepts including Christmas Tree Shops andThat! or andThat!.
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For the Bed Bath stores staying open, the discounts might be changing but aren’t expected to go away, officials said.
“I think it’s fair to say that the coupon is absolutely part of our DNA, and we want to use it more strategically and more surgically going forward,” CEO Mark Tritton said in July during a quarterly earnings call with analysts. “It will not disappear; it is part of who we are.”
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Tritton said there’s normally a lower rate of redemption of coupons online versus in stores. He also said that as stores have reopened after temporary COVID-19 closures, the company has pulled back on promotions and the coupon and is “seeing very good business as a result.”
Back in January, Tritton said the company was analyzing where the “coupon has strength and where it has opportunities to be morphed into other opportunities.”
In October 2019, company officials announced plans to close 60 stores across all of its concepts. In January, officials said 20 of the 40 Bed Bath & Beyond stores scheduled to close would be delayed until the first half of 2020. (Here’s the list of 40 stores that closed earlier this year, which was released in January.)
This July, the closure number increased to 200 as officials discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the company.
If you’re planning to shop, know the answers to these FAQs:
Is my Bed Bath & Beyond closing?
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. shared the list of 63 namesake stores closing by the end of 2020 exclusively with USA TODAY Friday. (See the full list here.)
When are Bed Bath & Beyond stores expected to close?
While the first 63 stores are slated to close by the end of the year, approximately 200 stores are scheduled to close over the next two years.
“We will both lean into store closures and leverage a significant number of lease expirations, coming due over the next several years, to restructure our Bed Bath & Beyond store portfolio,” John Hartmann, the company’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, said in July.
Why am I getting fewer Bed Bath coupons in the mail?
It’s not your imagination. You are getting fewer mailed coupons. The company adjusted marketing plans and minimized or canceled “print programs, brand campaigns and events that were focused on driving in-store only traffic,” said Joe Hartsig, the company’s chief merchandising officer and an executive vice president.
Is anything changing with coupons?
When liquidation sales begin at closing stores, it is likely that coupons will stop being accepted at those locations. Future changes are expected with coupons, officials said. In recent years, more exclusions have been added.
What about Bed Bath prices?
The company launched “dynamic pricing late last year,” said Hartsig, who also is president of the Harmon store concept. “I think you’ve seen some more competitive price gaps to market over the last six months, which is something we wanted to affect.”
Could the loyalty program change?
Possibly. The BEYOND+ membership program costs $29 a year and offers members 20% off their entire purchase and free shipping. Some exclusions apply.
“We are studying new ways to again evolve our loyalty programs because we think that there’s new ways and more important ways to retain our customers,” Hartsig said.
What about Bed Bath & Beyond returns?
The company, previously known for having one of the most lenient return policies, has updated its policy several times in recent years. One of the biggest overhauls was in 2015 when returns without receipts had 20% deducted, and previously a time frame was not listed for most returns.
In 2018, the policy changed to one year on most items, and that changed again earlier this year to 180 days. Also currently, a receipt or item lookup using a credit card is required in most instances.
At closing stores, sales are usually “all sales final” and returns aren’t accepted.
Should I use my gift card?
Nothing is changing at this time, but experts typically suggest that you take gift cards out of your wallet and drawers and put them to use ASAP.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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